Over the past few years, Kern County has seen sporting events canceled due to COVID-19, air quality, public safety concerns and lightning strikes.
This past week, however, local college teams were at the mercy of some old-fashioned rain delays.
Cal State Bakersfield saw its season-opening beach volleyball tournament torpedoed by the weather, and its women's golf team's first event in three weeks abruptly shut down in the middle of a round Tuesday. At Bakersfield College, where the school announced Friday on Instagram that it was canceling all sports for the remainder of the weekend, baseball, beach volleyball and softball had to shuffle schedules and swimming and track had entire events shelved.
The forecast looks sunnier going forward, but teams could be feeling the effects of these shifts for a while. Some, like BC softball, have tried to squeeze in make-up games down the stretch.
A few games did actually go down as scheduled over the past week, mostly at CSUB.
Baseball: The Renegades have lost seven of eight to fall to 6-8 after a promising start under new coach Kurt Townson. Their latest two defeats came last Wednesday and Thursday in weather-adjusted games against Golden West (the third game of the series will take place this Saturday), as they allowed 27 combined hits and lost 11-7 and 13-2. Next up is Fullerton at home Thursday.
Miscellaneous and looking ahead: Ipreye Egbe earned first-team all-conference honors for the men's basketball team, while Sean Fry was named an honorable mention ... Beach volleyball will play a doubleheader in Long Beach on Tuesday; it was rescheduled from last Friday ... Men's golf will return to the course Monday for conference competition in Santa Maria ... After some unexpected time off, softball will host a doubleheader Saturday ... Track and field will be back in action Saturday at Saddleback ... Women's tennis goes on the road to Glendale Thursday.
Cal State Bakersfield
Baseball: Having scheduled a pair of doubleheaders against Manhattan in an effort to avoid the rain, the Roadrunners went 3-1 last weekend against the Jaspers. James Bell drove in six runs, including a grand slam, in a series-opening 15-4 win Saturday, and Jeter Schuerman threw six shutout innings with 10 strikeouts in the nightcap for a 3-0 win. The next day, the Jaspers pulled out their one victory by a 5-4 margin, escaping after CSUB loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but the Roadrunners bounced back for a 4-2 victory later that afternoon to move to 7-2 on the year. They will travel to No. 2 Stanford for a weekend series beginning Friday.
Men's basketball: On his senior day, Travis Henson drained a contested 3-pointer at the buzzer to send the Roadrunners to overtime against Cal State Fullerton Saturday. But the Titans scored eight straight to open the extra period and spoiled the celebration with a 70-66 win, despite Henson's heroic 22-point showing. That came just two days after the Roadrunners lost 75-68 at CSUN — their locked-in opponent for the Big West Conference tournament on Tuesday — as a result of allowing 28 points and 10 rebounds to star guard Atin Wright. With little to play for at Long Beach State on Thursday or UC Irvine Saturday, CSUB will attempt to reincorporate its injured players ahead of the tournament.
Softball: The Roadrunners played eight games between Thursday and Tuesday — it could have been nine if a matchup with New Mexico State on Sunday hadn't been canceled. They picked up just one win, a 4-1 result over Tarleton State led by Brianna Sanchez's complete game and Shaylene Fuimaono and Savanna Montoya's home runs. Otherwise, CSUB's pitching gave up more than nine runs per game as the Roadrunners were run-ruled in five games against top opposition. They dropped to 3-15 ahead of Wednesday's matchup with Arizona.
Women's basketball: The Roadrunners lost to CSUN at home last Thursday after holding a nine-point lead with one minute remaining and an eight-point lead with 40 seconds left. CSUB allowed a three-point play to Michelle Duchemin and a buzzer-beating banked 3-pointer to Macy Smith and got dragged into overtime by the Matadors before losing 73-66. The Roadrunners had to go back on the road Saturday to Cal State Fullerton and, after cutting the Titans' lead to four points in the fourth quarter, eventually lost by 13. Their 3-15 conference record puts them in a tie for last with UC Riverside, over which they hold a tiebreaker. Regardless of which spot they end up in after the next two games (first up is Long Beach State Thursday), they will face either CSUN again or Cal Poly.
Miscellaneous and looking ahead: Beach volleyball opens its season for real in Northridge Friday ... Swimmers Arthur Schneider and Vili Sivec are hoping to qualify for international competition at the TYR Series in Florida beginning Thursday ... Track and field will be in Long Beach for the Beach Opener Friday and Saturday ... Indoor volleyball hired Penny Tusa as its new assistant coach.
Taft College note: The Cougars baseball team managed to play a pair of games despite the weather, falling 12-1 to San Joaquin Delta last Thursday but walking off in a dramatic series opener against West Hills Coalinga. Taft trailed 8-6 entering the bottom of the eighth inning and 8-7 in the bottom of the ninth before pinch hitter Yuki Ochida's two-RBI walk-off single. The Cougars play the Falcons again Thursday and Saturday.