Other than being a bit tight, Jonathan Montoya's left arm felt just fine after pitching six innings on Sunday.
That's good news for the Cal State Bakersfield baseball team, which was without its former staff ace for all of last season after he had Tommy John surgery on his pitching (left) elbow.
Making only his second start since going under the knife, Montoya looked sharp, allowing just two hits as the Roadrunners defeated Hofstra 5-1 at Hardt Field.
"I went out there, just wanted to throw strikes," Montoya said. "(Hofstra) likes to jump around on the bases a lot. It kind of threw me off a little bit. ... Other than that I thought I did pretty well. I did have five walks. I'm still working through some things, but hopefully that cleans up later."
Dylan Christensen and Garrett Pierce had three hits each for CSUB (4-3), which split the four-game weekend series against the Pride (2-6).
"It isn't really about results at this point as it is about getting out and finding out who we got and giving guys chances," CSUB coach Bill Kernen said.
The 'Runners finished with 11 hits, including a pair of doubles by Tyler Shryock.
His first two-bagger keyed a two-run first inning by CSUB. After Christensen began the frame with a walk, Shryock brought him home with a hard grounder down the line and into the right-field corner.
Two batters later, Pierce drilled a line-drive single to right that plated Shryock.
Those two runs were all the 'Runners needed as Montoya and a pair of relievers shut down the Hofstra offense.
The Pride's only run came in the second inning, and it was the result of a Jared Hammer leadoff single followed by Montoya making two errant pickoff throws.
Late in the game, CSUB committed a third error. Despite the trio of miscues, the 'Runners defense played a big role in the victory, making several highlight reel type of plays.
In the fourth inning, Pierce made a spectacular diving catch just inches off the center-field grass to rob the Pride of a possible extra-base hit.
Three frames later, having just entering the game in left field, Kevin Younger came up with a sliding catch in the dirt portion of the outfield in foul ground.
In the eighth inning, Shryock made two great defensive plays. First, the junior shortstop made a lunging backhand stab of Bryan Verbitsky's low liner.
Then, following the Pride's third and final hit of the game, he dove left to snare a grounder, flipping it to second base from his stomach to record the first half of a 6-4-3 double play.
Moments later Shryock drilled a hard line drive into the left-field corner for his second double of the day.
"I'm glad I could help out the team any way I could," Shryock said. "I think we haven't been playing up to our best potential. Today we got it back turned around and it's a good feeling. I'm glad I could be a part of it."
The 'Runners had a total of four extra base hits.
Pierce helped CSUB extend its lead to 4-1 in the seventh with an RBI double.
Christensen, who was 3-for-4 with a walk, tripled in the fourth.
"I saw the ball really well," Pierce said. "(Batting practice) went really well. We really focused on going the other way and we got the pitches and we didn't miss them."
Montoya, who set CSUB records for complete games (seven) and wins (eight) in 2011, needed only three pitches to retire the Pride in order to begin the game.
He never did get in much trouble as Hofstra managed just two singles in six innings.
Hofstra starter Jared Rogers wasn't nearly as sharp and took the loss after allowing three runs on eight hits in 42/3 innings of work.
Despite the good showing on Sunday, Pierce wasn't happy that the 'Runners split with Hofstra.
"This series wasn't too good," Pierce said. "(Hofstra) is a pretty good team, but we're a much better team than them. We should have easily swept. It's not a very good taste in our mouth, but after the win today we have to come back strong against Fresno (State) again and step it up."