GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas -- Cal State Bakersfield turned the second triple play in school history in defeating San Jose State 11-3 to open pool play Wednesday in the Western Athletic Conference tournament at QuikTrip Park.
Frank Martinez had a career-high four RBIs and starting pitcher Jeff McKenzie recorded his sixth complete game of the season for the top-seeded Roadrunners (36-21), who are looking to earn an automatic berth into the NCAA tournament with a WAC tournament title.
CSUB led 2-0 in the second inning when San Jose State (17-39) collected two singles to put runners on first and second with no outs. That's when, with both baserunners running on the pitch, Kalei Contrades hit a line drive to Roadrunners first baseman Cael Brockmeyer. Brockmeyer caught the ball on the fly, tagged first base to force out Matt Carroll and threw to shortstop Tyler Shryock at second base to force out the lead runner, Nick Schulz, for the triple play.
Oscar Sanay got the Roadrunners offense going in the first inning with a lead-off triple and scored on a Dylan Christensen single. Brockmeyer then doubled Christensen to third, and Mylz Jones hit a sacrifice fly for the second run. Sanay hit a sac fly and Shryock hit an RBI single in the second inning for a 4-0 lead.
McKenzie allowed his only three runs in the fifth inning as San Jose State closed the deficit to 4-3 with a three-run double by Jeff Lund.
CSUB answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning, highlighted by a Martinez two-run single, and McKenzie (13-2) pitched shutout ball the rest of the way.
McKenzie, named the WAC Pitcher of the Year on Tuesday, allowed 10 hits and no walks while striking out three over his nine innings. He retired 11 batters in a row at one point and finished with 124 pitches.
Sanay went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBIs, Martinez went 2-for-4 and Shryock went 2-for-5 with a run and RBI.
San Jose State starter David Wayne Russo allowed 10 runs (five earned) over 61/3 innings, striking out three and walking two.
CSUB tied with Texas-San Antonio (3-2 winners over Sacramento State in 14 innings on Wednesday) with a 1-0 record in Pool A round-robin play. CSUB plays Sacramento State at 1 p.m. and San Antonio plays San Jose State at 5 p.m. in today's Pool A games.
Earlier Wednesday, McKenzie was named one of 46 semifinalists for the Gregg Olson Award, which recognizes college baseball's "breakout player of the year." The winner will be named in Omaha, Neb., during the College World Series in June.
Fans are invited to watch today's and Friday's CSUB WAC tournament baseball games for free in the Icardo Center on campus at 5 p.m. Parking will be made available in Lot I near the Icardo Center. Light refreshments will be served.