02/22/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/23/2020 01:34
Bakersfield, Calif. - CSU Bakersfield scored seven times over the first three innings and held off a late San Francisco rally to win 8-4, Saturday, and even their three-game series with the Dons at one win a piece. The Roadrunners broke open the game early with a four-run second inning, highlighted by a three-run homer, and was dominant for a second straight start, striking out six to earn his first win of the season.
'We're still working towards playing a complete nine inning game,' said CSUB Head Coach . 'But we got some key hits tonight, Skuija was great on the mound and our defense showed up when things looked like they might go sideways.'
Skuija tossed six strong innings, extending CSUB's starting pitching streak of innings without an earned run to 24, before allowing a single run in the fourth. He allowed just three hits and six baserunners on the night, while whiffing six of the 23 Dons he faced.
Over two starts Skuija has now pitched 11 innings, allowing just one earned run and limiting opposing hitters to a .139 batting average and five total hits. Twice, Skuija has followed up a CSUB loss with an excellent outing to key a Roadrunner win.
'Every time I take the ball, I want to do my best and win for this team,' said Skuija. 'My stuff was working at the start, but I had to mix pitches and battle late when I lost my fastball for an inning or two.'
The `Runners gave Skuija more than enough run support.
Bakersfield scored in the first inning for the fourth-straight game, when dumped a single into right to score from second.
Four consecutive hits in the second inning stretched the CSUB lead to 5-0. Junior and freshmen and Jacen Robinson all notched one out singles, with Roberson driving in Holtz from third on a single to right. Henderson followed with a towering three-run home run to left-center field; his second longball of the series.
Holtz would finish the game 1-for-3 with a walk. In three starts this season, he's reached base in seven of 12 total plate appearances. He also drove in a run in a two-run third inning when he walked with the bases loaded.
San Francisco rallied in the seventh, using a pair of hits, a walk and a fielder's choice to score three times and cut the `Runners lead to 7-4.
Another walk and a double put Dons on second and third with nobody out in the eighth against freshman . With the tying run at the plate, Perez needed just five pitches to squash USF's hopes for a second-straight comeback win. He got outfielder Harris Williams to line softly to at second base, and then induced a groundball back up the middle that Casillas turned into a 6-3-2 double play to end the inning.
Casillas singled up the middle in the bottom of the eighth to add an insurance run, before Perez slammed the door with his first career save in the ninth.
Casillas has three hits and three RBI in the series, he was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in in Bakersfield's game two win.
'At first I was trying to do too much,' said Casillas. 'Now, I'm just trying to make good contact, put balls in play and move runners in front of me. I got enough of that last one to put it up the middle and luckily Grossman is fast enough to get us a big run and change momentum.'
Rivers finished 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI, while had two hits to stretch his current hitting streak to five games. Perez earned his first career save after allowing just one hit over two innings pitched.
With tonight's win the `Runners improve to 3-3 on the young season, with a chance to win their ninth straight series at Hardt Field, Sunday. First pitch for tomorrow's rubber match with the Dons is set for 12 noon.