Buzz is building around the Cal State Bakersfield baseball team entering the 2020 season, and it's extending beyond the Roadrunner clubhouse.
In the first USA Today Poll of the year, CSUB earned seven points to land in the "Others Receiving Votes" category.
CSUB ranked 44th overall in the poll and was the only WAC team to receive votes. It marked the first time the Roadrunners earned attention in the USA Today poll since 2011.
"It's always nice to gain recognition for our growth and hard work," CSUB coach Jeremy Beard said. "We've certainly been working hard to put the program on a national map and it's a nice indication to see that others are taking notice."
Quick to point out that they "haven't done anything yet," Beard says he's been pleased with the way his players have reacted to the news, which is to say they really haven't.
"It came out for a couple of days and we didn’t really talk about it and I kind of tested a few guys like ‘How about that?’ They looked at me like ‘Who cares?'" Beard said. "I was trying to bait them and they didn’t take it. It was perfect.
"It actually already reaffirmed how I feel about this group and their workman approach and everyday effort to get better without looking at outcomes."
The Roadrunners will host their Alumni Game at Hardt Field at 1 p.m. Saturday. They begin the regular season with a three-game home series against Washington State beginning on Feb. 14.
CSUB lands K-State transfer
Being in the midst of this current season hasn't stopped the CSUB men's basketball team from preparing for the future.
The Roadrunners bolstered their roster from the power conference ranks with the addition of Kansas State transfer point guard Shaun Williams. After arriving in Bakersfield last week, Williams was announced as an addition to the program Tuesday afternoon.
"He's a talented, talented point guard," coach Rod Barnes said. "He's already been helping us in practice because he has a good feel and an IQ for the game. We can already see how valuable he can be for us."
Barnes is hopeful Williams, a sophomore, will be able to maintain three years of eligibility after playing in just five games for the Wildcats this season. He departed Manhattan in December.
Aside from his on-court abilities, Barnes is also hopeful that Williams, who played on a K-State team that went 25-9 and received a No. 4 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, will bring a winning edge to a team looking for its own postseason breakthrough.
"To have the opportunity to go to the NCAA Tournament, it's something that until you've done it you don't really know what you're missing out on," Barnes said. "And because he's been there, he knows and understands that."
• Three CSUB wrestlers were ranked in the first of four coaches panel rankings this season. Chance Rich is No. 29 at 133 pounds, Angelo Martinoni is No. 32 at 141 and Russell Rohlfing came in at No. 28 at 149.
• Hunter Adams and Grant Holleman each had two RBIs and Bakersfield College earned its first win of the baseball season with a 10-3 win over Taft Sunday. The Renegades fell to 1-3 Tuesday, recording just two hits while committing four errors in a 6-1 loss to LA Pierce.
• The BC men's golf team opened the season by placing ninth in the 20-team Pt. Conception Tournament over the weekend.
• The CSUB women's soccer team added two transfers, including Liberty grad Rhyan Acosta, a Second-Team All WSC South selection at Bakersfield College in 2019.