Bakersfield College finds itself inching closer to first place in the Western State Conference South Division.
The Renegades combined solid pitching by Brad Lindsley with clutch hitting to beat Los Angeles Valley College 5-1 Tuesday at Gerry Collis Field.
BC (19-8) has nine conference games remaining. The Renegades gained a game on first-place Glendale, which was beaten 11-5 by College of the Canyons on Tuesday. Glendale is 12-3 in the WSC South with BC and Canyons tied at 11-4. Canyons has won 10 straight WSC games.
BC entered the game with four losses in its last five games. Valley (5-21-1) fell to 4-11 in the WSC.
"We haven't had a lot of luck hitting the ball lately," said BC shortstop Rolando Martinez, who doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the sixth inning and added an RBI double in BC's three-run eighth inning that put the game away.
"I was just trying to go up the middle," Martinez said of his two doubles.
Martinez scored the go-ahead run from second base on Nick Sakowski's RBI infield single behind second base. Martinez, who was running hard all the way on contact, barely beat the throw by Valley shortstop Stewart Alexandra with a head-first slide across home plate.
Sakowski followed Martinez's double in the eighth with a bunt single and both scored on Erik Williams' two-run double down the left field line.
"Those guys have been very productive in that part of the lineup all year," BC coach Tim Painton said. "Rolando has doubles gap power and Sakowski just scraps and finds a way to get on."
Lindsley scattered eight hits in eight innings. Painton nearly removed him after Valley had back-to-back singles with two outs in the eighth.
Painton went to the mound at that point and spoke to Lindsley, then to catcher Justin Martinez, before allowing Lindsley to continue. Robert Gonzalez grounded out to end the inning and Sean Deweese pitched the ninth for BC to finish it.
"My biggest concern: Was he out of gas?" Painton said. "He was only at 90 pitches and he said no. Martinez said he had the same stuff as he had in the second inning so we let him out there."
BC had 11 hits and had outs on several well-hit balls over the first five innings.
"We didn't have anything to show for it," Painton said of the early innings. "But we were able to scratch out a few runs late. The eighth inning was a big inning because it gave us a cushion so we did not have to go out there with a one-run lead in the ninth."
BC plays at Valley on Thursday and at Citrus on Saturday before hosting Citrus on Tuesday.