Seventies rock star Meat Loaf once famously sang that two out of three ain't bad. Perhaps not, but the Bakersfield College baseball team was hoping for more than that after starting the season with a pair of victories.
Unfortunately for the Renegades, they fell flat in that endeavor, losing 6-1 to College of the Sequoias at Gerry Collis Field on Sunday afternoon.
Following a pair of solid all-around efforts to open the season, BC (2-1) struggled in all facets of the game against COS (2-1).
The Renegades struggled particularly on defense, committing three errors, including one in the second inning that helped the Giants take a 2-0 lead.
"We didn't do anything well," BC coach Tim Painton said. "From the very get-go today it had a different feel than the first two days and that's what we just talked about. The newness of a season can't wear off after two games. We were sloppy during infield-outfield. It was just a different approach to today and it carried over into the ballgame."
Down 3-0, the Renegades scored their lone run in the fifth inning thanks in part to some aggressive base running.
After hitting a two-out line drive single, Cole Hallum stole second base one pitch before Rolando Martinez drove him home with a liner to center field.
BC finished with seven hits, but had only the one multi-hit inning.
Hallum and Kyle Nixon had two hits each for the Renegades, who drew only one walk off a quartet of COS pitchers.
One bright spot for BC was starting pitcher Brad Lindsley (0-1). The 6-foot-5, 210-pound right-hander went six innings, allowing one earned run on five hits, while walking two and striking out four.
"It was good to start the year off like that," Lindsley said. "I felt in control and threw all of my pitches pretty well. I threw a lot strikes and got ahead in the count early which helped out."
Limited by a lower-than-normal pitch count because of it being his first start of the season, Lindsley threw 48 strikes and 27 balls before being lifted.
"I was very happy with the way he pitched," Painton said. "Heck, he gave us a chance. You give up an earned run in six innings, you've done your job. Unfortunately, we just didn't do anything offensively to give him any breathing room, but I felt he pitched well."
Erick McRae (1-0) started on the mound for the Giants and got the win. He went five innings and gave up one run on five hits. The sophomore right-hander from Hanford didn't issue a walk and had six strikeouts.
The COS offense produced nine hits, including three during a three-run seventh inning that all but put the game out of reach.
The Giants had a trio of hits in the second inning too, but their two runs that frame were aided by a Hallum two-base throwing error.
After Matt Cota led off the inning with a single, Rudy Navarro drilled a base hit to Hallum in left field. The BC freshman fielded the ball cleanly, but then fired the ball through the legs of third baseman Luc Pomales and into the COS dugout.
That allowed Cota to score from second and Navarro to go from first to third. Two batters later, Tyler Newberry plated Navarro with a single.
"It was a combination of things," Painton said of the costly miscue. "It was a bad throw. We don't communicate with our shortstop and third baseman. The third baseman doesn't field the ball. And the pitcher wasn't backing the play up. So we had literally four players involved in one mistake that led to two runs."
Painton hopes his team can learn from the mistakes it made during Sunday's loss.
"You hate to end on kind of a down note, but we got to see pretty much our entire pitching staff this weekend and get them into games," Painton said. "We got to get a lot of younger players feet wet a little bit. So I think as a whole, we have to look at (our first three games) as a positive and something to build on."