SACRAMENTO, Calif. - CSU Bakersfield scored all four of its runs in the fifth inning and withstood a late push by the Hornets to hold on for a 4-3 win Friday night at John Smith Field.
CSU Bakersfield (21-16, 7-6 WAC) won its fifth straight WAC game behind starter Max Carter and reliever Naithen Dewsnap, who pitched the final three innings and allowed just one base runner to pick up his ninth save of the season.
Sacramento State (21-21, 6-10 WAC) had eight hits but left seven men on base. The Roadrunners, who rank 10th in NCAA Div. I this season in batting average, had 10 hits and left 11 men on, stranding at least one base runner in eight of nine innings.
The Hornets got an early 1-0 lead in the first inning but left the bases loaded. Ian Dawkins led off with a double and Vinny Esposito moved him to third with a one-out single. After a strikeout Andrew McWilliam drew a walk to load the bases and Dawsen Bacho battled for an eight-pitch walk to bring in Dawkins from third.
CSU Bakersfield left six men on base over the first four innings but was able to capitalize on its opportunities in the fifth. The Roadrunners began the inning with a walk and two singles to score one run. Another walk and a fielders choice groundout scored a second run and, after a wild pitch put runners on second and third, Mahlik Jones delivered the big hit with a two run single back up the middle.
The Hornets got out of the inning stranding two men on base and staged a rally in the seventh. Trent Goodrich led off the inning with a single and Ricky Martinez laced an RBI triple down the right field line. Dewsnap entered the game to face Dawkins, who followed with a sacrifice fly to left to move the Hornets to within a 4-3 deficit.
Dewsnap got the last three outs of the seventh inning and retired the Hornets in order in the eighth. In the ninth inning Martinez picked up his third hit of the game with a two-out single but the CSUB closer coaxed a groundout to end the game.
Hornet junior reliever Austin Root was as good as Dewsnap, entering with one away in the fifth inning and pitching 3.2 scoreless innings allowing just two hits and one walk. Tanner Olson allowed a single but nothing more in the ninth as the Hornet bullpen kept the team close.
Carter, who improved to 7-1 with the win, also hit fifth for the Roadrunners and was 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Sergio Robles was 3-for-3 with a walk out of the number eight spot in the CSU Bakersfield batting order.
Martinez recorded his third 3-hit game over the last eight contests. Dawkins went 2-for-5 to tally his team-leading 19th multi-hit game this year.
The second game in the weekend series is slated for 6 p.m. Saturday at John Smith Field.