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K-State loses second straight to Bakersfield

By The Mercury

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — CSU Bakersfield’s DC Legg hit a pair of home runs, including a three-run shot in the bottom of the first, and pitcher Taylor Aikenhead threw a complete game as the Roadrunners took the three-game set from Kansas State with an 8-1 victory Monday at Hardt Field.

CSUB came back to win the final two games of the series after K-State took a 7-5 extra-inning victory in the season opener on Saturday. Monday’s loss marked the first time the Wildcats lost a three-game road series to open the season since going 1-2 at Arkansas to open the 1992 campaign.

Legg recorded five RBIs in the contest, completing his 3-for-4 day with a solo home run in the eighth inning. For the series, the Roadrunners’ senior was 5-for-14 with three homers and seven RBIs.

K-State also didn’t do itself any favors, as it committed two errors that led to three unearned runs. Also, the Wildcats were limited by Aikenhead to just three hits, their fewest against a non-conference opponent since also recording three against Minnesota on May 5, 2010, in Manhattan.

For the third time in as many games, CSUB started a junior-college pitcher, and the Roadrunners found success in Aikenehead as he surrendered just one run with five walks and seven strikeouts. The Wildcats got to Aikenhead early on a RBI single by Blair DeBord in the first, but had no answer for the left-hander in the final eight frames.

In the second inning, Dan Klein recorded a two-out single, but that proved to be the final Wildcat hit until a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning by freshman Austin Fisher when the Roadrunners held a six-run lead. At one point, Aikenhead retired 12 straight Wildcats from the fourth through the eighth innings.

Aikenhead’s complete game represented the first against the Wildcats by a regular season non-conference opponent since 2008 when BYU’s Nelson Castleberry went the distance against K-State.

K-State sophomore starter Gerardo Esquivel (0-1) took the loss, as he was pulled four batters into the third inning. The right-hander allowed six runs — four earned — on six hits with a walk.

The lone bright spot for the Wildcats on the afternoon came from sophomore left-hander Jared Moore, who recorded four strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings, both career highs. He was charged with an unearned run in the sixth inning and walked just one.

Oscar Sanay and Tyler Shryock each collected two hits and an RBI for the Roadrunners. Sanay drove in a run on a third-inning double, while Shryock recorded an RBI single in the sixth.

K-State will travel 230 miles south to San Diego to participate in the San Diego Tournament Thursday through Sunday — beginning with an 8 p.m. game against at San Diego State on Thursday.

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