Bakersfield College (28-10) has swept Long Beach City College (24-14) with a 3-0 road win at Joe Hicks Memorial Field Saturday afternoon.
Austin Toerner (7-1) was the surprise starter in game two, and he delivered a gem. Toerner picked up the win with a complete game shutout victory, allowing just five hits over nine innings, while walking two and striking out one.
"Austin Toerner was stellar. He stuck to our game plan, and he'd be the first to tell you he couldn't have done it with our catcher. Jacob Herrera calls every pitch and he really did his homework to make sure Austin was in position to bring best stuff at the right times," Coach Tim Painton said.
But Toerner got a big piece of help from someone other than his catcher late in the game.
In the top of the sixth inning with one out and BC holding on to a slim 1-0 lead, #2 hitter Tony Monroy drew a walk from Toerner to bring up pitcher Tai Tiedemann, a .357 hitter who leads the State with 10 triples.
Tiedemann put a vicious swing on a Toerner pitch, driving it to right-centerfield for what looked triple #11 and a tie ballgame. But just as Monroy was about to touch third, BC right fielder Brooks Douglass turned on the afterburners and made an incredible running grab from out of nowhere. He was able to easily retire Monroy at first and get out of the inning.
"Brooks Douglass, wow. He made a phenomenal defensive play to keep the game scoreless against the heart of the order there late in the game, so we did a really good job this weekend," Painton said.
Harrison Smith was two for four with two runs scored, while Jacob Herrera had a hit and an RBI along with drawing two walks.
"Coach Painton worked hard on putting together a game plan, and his team clearly executed that to perfection," Athletic Director Sandi Taylor said, "That's what he has brought to the table for 21 years; his professional experience leads to a professional approach to game management, and he's got an incredible knowledge base that speaks for itself, but in case it doesn't, you can just look to his track record of sending guys on to professional careers. I'm sure it isn't too hard for his players to buy into the game plans he presents them with, but they sure deserve a lot of credit for focusing their talents and following it to the letter."
While BC is guaranteed a spot in the second round, they'll wait to see the outcomes of higher seeds still competing before they know where they'll play in round two.