Cal State University Bakersfield’s baseball team is on a hot streak, and if you head to a game at Hardt Field you may notice one major improvement.
The Roadrunners have won five straight games, including last weekend’s three-game sweep of visiting Utah Valley, and while there’s buzz on the field the addition of a new press box makes it a clear sign that things are improving for CSUB’s baseball program as a whole.
Since the program’s foundation in 2009, members of the media, broadcasters and the university’s sports information staff had to huddle, or bundle, under a makeshift covering of pop-up tents or just endure Bakersfield’s finicky spring weather.
In recent weeks, a new three-room press box was added, complete with heating and air conditioning, but more importantly it adds a finished look to Hardt Field — an incremental step, but a symbolic one for the program.
“Being up here in the penthouse is pretty nice for sure,” said a half-joking Corey Costelloe, CSUB’s assistant athletic director for communications, who does the play-by-play for the program’s radio and video broadcasts.
The middle room of the press box features workspace for the sports information staff, led by Matt Turk, visiting sports information and other working media. On the flanks of the main room, are rooms for broadcasting. In year’s past, visiting broadcast operations were housed under a pop-up tent and connected via extension cords.
The latest improvements are just part of the continuing efforts to improve the overall facilities at Hardt Field.
CSUB faces a tough stretch before the regular season ends May 20 at New Mexico State. The Roadrunners play host to Cal Poly Tuesday night, before heading out for a seven games on the road against Arizona State, UC Santa Barbara and Sacramento State before returning home on May 2 against UC Irvine.
The Roadrunners are 19-12 overall and 6-6 in Western Athletic Conference play. The Roadrunners have been bolstered by the strong pitching of Max Carter, who leads the team with a 6-1 record and 2.34 ERA. At the plate, Ryan Grotjohn is hitting .450 with 28 RBI. CSUB is not a team that you’re going to expect to hit big — the Roadrunners have hit only two home runs this season — but they are doing it with five players hitting better than .300 this season.