Bronson Larsen had four RBI off three left-field hits, including a three-run homer in a 5-4 loss at CSU Bakersfield on Thursday night. (Photo by West Coast Conference)
BAKERSFIELD, California (March 2, 2017)—Host CSU Bakersfield kept a six-game winning streak alive with a 5-4 victory over BYU baseball on Thursday night.
The Cougars, now 3-5, closed the gap to 4-3 by the seventh inning as CSUB, 7-2, held on for the lead in the first of a three-game series.
“This is becoming Groundhog Day and it’s time for the guys who are supposed to be our guys to step up and get things done,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said.
The Roadrunners limited Cougar batters to four hits through six innings while taking leads of 2-0 and 4-0 when scoring those runs with two out in the third and fifth innings.
Cougar Brock Hale led off the seventh inning with a single to extend his current streak to nine games. He advanced to third off Keaton Kringlen’s gap double to set the table for Bronson Larsen’s three-run homer.
Larsen went again to left field for the third time on the evening in the ninth for his fourth RBI to plate pinch runner Brian Hsu for the Cougars’ final run.
BYU failed to deliver in key situations even though CSUB pitchers recorded only two strikeouts as the Roadrunners out-hit the Cougars 12-10. Just when it appeared BYU might have gotten a jump-start in the top of the third with Larsen leading off with a single down the left field line, Daniel Schneemann lined into an inning ending-double play on the opposite side of the field.
The Cougars took advantage of two CSUB miscues in the first and fourth innings in snuffing out theft attempts on batter interference and a runner caught stealing after a back-pick by catcher David Clawson.
The second game of the series will be played on Friday night at 6 p.m. PST.