Tuesday afternoon's schedule at Bakersfield College may have been a logistical nightmare for the Renegades' most avid fans, with three different sporting events unfolding concurrently, but whichever one they picked would have been an excellent choice.
First, the women's tennis team sealed a long-awaited playoff win by beating Saddleback 7-2. Then the baseball team lost a one-run lead in the ninth inning against conference rival Antelope Valley, but regained it on a Drew Townson infield single and a Jordan Lopez fielder's choice that resulted in a game-ending throwing error. Directly adjacent at the Dean and Adah Gay Sports Complex, softball pulled out a gritty conference win in extras when Destiny Cuellar sent a two-out single to left field, scoring international-tiebreaker runner Mykaela Burtin.
It was Cuellar's second consecutive game with an extra-innings walk-off single, after she had done the same to complete a massive comeback against L.A. Mission last Thursday.
Even with all this intrigue, the action is still ramping up as teams get deeper into their conference seasons, while some postseason play begins for Cal State Bakersfield.
Baseball: With Tuesday afternoon's victory over Antelope Valley, BC continued a solid stretch of five wins in seven outings. The Renegades beat Reedley 8-1 on April 5 behind 8⅓ scoreless innings from Tim Ruiz. David Delgadillo had a similarly strong start going against the Marauders and was in position for a 2-1 win until he allowed a pair of hits to put two runners in scoring position in the ninth inning with one out. Antelope Valley managed two more singles off reliever Alex Rodriguez to take the lead, but committed its fifth and most costly error of the day in the ninth inning to give it right back. BC moved to 13-19 (6-7 in conference), exceeding last season's win total, and will face the Marauders again on the road Thursday.
Men's tennis: BC traveled to Irvine Valley for its first playoff match and knocked off the higher-seeded Lasers 5-4, winning the final three singles matches after falling behind 4-2. Brett Yackovich, Moses Jimenez and Lucas Specht all rallied after dropping first sets, with Specht earning the decisive result at No. 2 singles, 4-6, 6-0, 6-1. The Renegades will travel to play Desert, which defeated Glendale 8-0, next Tuesday.
Softball: The Renegades maintained their grip on first place in a suddenly competitive Western State Conference with three combined wins against L.A. Mission and Citrus. They handled the Eagles 4-1 in the doubleheader opener last Thursday thanks to a clinical performance by pitcher Ryleigh Harrison, but neither Harrison nor Kady Smith could find an answer in the closer as L.A. Mission jumped ahead 6-0. However, timely hitting up and down the lineup and a horrifically untimely two-run error by L.A. Mission in the seventh inning allowed BC to send the game to extras tied 7-7, where Cuellar walked it off. She did the same Tuesday against Citrus. The Renegades had trailed 1-0 since the fourth inning, thanks to Samantha Meyndert's ability to escape jams in the circle. But Shelbie Valencia hit a game-tying RBI double in the seventh, and after several scoreless frames, BC turned a double play in the 10th to set up Cuellar for the win again. BC (17-11, 9-2 WSC) will travel to L.A. Valley Thursday.
Track and field: After Tucker Monaco qualified for the state championships with a fifth-place finish in the decathlon at Saddleback, BC continued its strong week with six total wins at Glendale, headlined by Nate Rodriguez's meet record in the steeplechase. The Renegades will return to action at Antelope Valley on April 21.
Women's tennis: With its playoff win over Saddleback, No. 3 BC earned a road date with No. 2 Desert. Both BC tennis teams will travel to Palm Desert for the regional semifinals Tuesday.
Miscellaneous and looking ahead: Beach volleyball lost 5-0 to Santa Barbara in Ventura … Men's basketball guard Eloy Medina committed to Northern New Mexico College … Men's golf returns to the course in Solvang next Monday.
CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD
Baseball: CSUB may have altered the direction of its season with a series win on the road in Hawaii. The Roadrunners took a pair of 3-2 wins last Thursday and Friday behind strong starts from Ryan Verdugo and Matt Comnos, plus a go-ahead ninth-inning two-RBI single from James Bell on Friday. Hawaii flipped the script on Saturday with a 3-2 win of its own, but the Roadrunners will return home for three games with Cal Poly having improved their record to 12-17 (3-9 Big West Conference).
Beach volleyball: A win over Pacific was a good start, but the Roadrunners were unable to replicate their previous upset over Cal Poly and fell 4-1 at home to the Mustangs. Now 14-7, they have home matches against CSUN and Westcliff Friday, followed by a road date with USC and then the Big West Championship.
Softball: The Roadrunners sustained a puzzling home sweep at the hands of UC Santa Barbara despite tallying 29 hits, their most in a three-game series in eight seasons. Those hits were rarely consecutive and not always backed up by strong pitching. Brianna Sanchez had the Gauchos down to their final strike trailing 1-0 in the series opener Friday before UCSB turned over the order and struck for three runs and the win. CSUB then combined for 12 runs in Saturday's doubleheader but allowed 17 more. A 3-for-3 showing by Karissa Munsey, her second straight game with a home run, fell by the wayside in the 7-6 opener — even though the Roadrunners had two runners on in the sixth inning — and Jordan Head's four-RBI day came to nothing in the 10-6 closer. The results dropped CSUB to 6-29 (1-11 Big West) ahead of a road series at Cal Poly.
Track and field: Bakersfield native Kynnedi McCall won the 400 meters with the second-best time in program history, 54.71 seconds, as one of six victories for CSUB at the Pomona-Pitzer Invitational. Next up for the Roadrunners is the Pacific Coast Intercollegiate in Long Beach Thursday.
Miscellaneous and looking ahead: Men's basketball guard Ivan Reynolds entered the transfer portal, according to Verbal Commits … Women's basketball forward Hennie van Schaik transferred to Louisville … Women's golf will close its season when it competes at the Big West Championship in Las Vegas beginning Sunday.
Reporter Henry Greenstein can be reached at 661-395-7374. Follow him on Twitter: @HenryGreenstein.