Bakersfield College couldn't have picked a worse time to go into a slump.
The Renegades closed their baseball regular season with a four-game losing streak, the final two against last-place West Los Angeles College.
West L.A. posted a 6-3 win over BC on Friday at Gerry Collis Field that in the very least leaves BC's postseason hopes uncertain.
Four games ago, BC started a two-game series against Glendale College in a battle for first place and the Renegades looked like a sure bet for the postseason.
Now that's all changed.
"We're one of a handful of teams with 24, 25 wins," BC coach Tim Painton said after the Renegades finished the regular season 24-12 overall and 16-8 for third place in the Western State Conference South Division. West L.A. finishes 8-25 and 6-18.
"I don't know if that's good enough (to make the postseason),” Painton said. “You lose the last four games of the season — that will be looked at. You lose to a last-place team the last two games of the season — that will be looked at.
“So I have no idea what will happen. I’ll find out Sunday evening and we’ll move on from there.”
Painton said playoff teams’ ratings percentage index will be used to determine the six at-large spots in the Southern California playoffs. BC is vying for one of those spots.
RPI is based on a team’s winning percentage, its opponents’ winning percentages and the winning percentage of those opponents’ opponents.
“I think our body of work is good enough,” Painton said. “But there is a lot of criteria they look at. In RPI, we were nine going into the last two games. This could have dropped us out of the top 15.”
BC wasted a solid pitching performance by Justin Kelly, who allowed seven hits and four runs (two earned) in 7-2/3 innings. Two BC errors led to two unearned runs in the fourth.
“You can’t ask more of a kid,” Painton said. “He went into the eighth inning and gave up two earned runs. Unfortunately today that wasn’t good enough.”
Cole Hallum hit a solo home run for BC in the second, Jordan Turner followed with a double to deep right and Rolando Martinez had a one-out RBI single to give BC a 2-0 lead. Hallum added a two-out RBI single in the seventh that tied the game 3-3.
But the Wildcats strung together three straight two-out singles for the go-ahead run in the eighth, and a walk, two hit batters and Johnny Davis’ two-out, two-run single on an 0-2 pitch gave West L.A. insurance runs in the ninth.
One day earlier, BC lost to West L.A. 11-6 when seven errors led to nine unearned runs.
“Yesterday we just flat gave away a game,” Painton said. “Today we just got beat.
“They did a good job offensively. Their starter (South Korean-born Haechun Jung) did a good job on the mound. It was much different from (Thursday) but ultimately the same result.”
Many community college baseball conferences conclude today and the postseason qualifiers will be announced Sunday.