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History favors title run for Wildcat baseball team

Photo+credit%3A+Jordan+Jarrell
Photo credit: Jordan Jarrell

Photo credit: Jordan Jarrell

Photo credit: Jordan Jarrell

Christopher Hendrickson

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The Chico State baseball team had a great season in 2017, but how great was it actually?

Diving into the historical archives and comparing them to Chico State’s last championship baseball team helps paint a better picture.

The year was 1999 the last time the Chico State Baseball team won a Division II title, Lindsay Meggs was the coach and they beat Kennesaw State 11-5 in the championship game. Statistically speaking, this year’s team has some similarities with that team from ‘99, there’s also some areas where this year’s team is doing better than the ‘99 title team. This all spells good news for the Wildcats in this year’s playoffs.

The offensive stats recorded for these two teams are not very far apart. In ‘99 the team hit for an average of .317, and with the playoffs still to go this year’s team has totaled an average of .310. However, getting a hit isn’t the most important thing a batter can do, it’s getting on base. This category is almost identical for the two teams: ‘99 racked up a .406 on base percentage for the season and the team in ‘17 is getting on base at a .408 average.

Chico State still has a full playoff schedule to go before a chance at another title, but so far the pitchers on this year’s team are out dueling the pitchers from the title team of ‘99. The runs allowed, so far, by this year’s pitching staff total 160 with 144 of those runs being earned. The pitchers from the 99’ team allowed 312 runs with 241 of them being earned. Opponents are just not seeing the Wildcat pitching staff as well as they were in ‘99.

The aggregate batting average for opponents this year is .241, but in ‘99 opponents were hitting a stronger .271. This where you can really see a separation in the ‘99 title and this year’s squad. In overall efficiency as a pitching staff the ‘17 team is better than the ‘99 team. On the ‘99 team there were only three pitchers with an earned run average less than three, on the ‘17 staff there are seven pitchers with an earned run average of less than three.

This year’s team is also outshining the ‘99 team in some other notable areas. Quickness on the base path is one of them. The team in ‘99 stole 68 bases on 105 attempts and this year’s team stole 101 bases on 134 attempts. The team in ‘17 is also handling their defensive duties better than the team in ‘99. This year’s defense has only managed 31 errors on the season where the title team tallied 108.

This years team has been hovering around greatness all year, winning 13 out of the last 14 games and going 34-4 in their conference for an overall record of 41-8.

The 2017 Wildcat baseball team is heading into the CCAA playoffs ranked first in their conference and six in the overall NCAA Division II rankings. All signs point to them staying hot throughout the playoffs giving them a good opportunity to bring home another title.

They play next May 10 at 11am against Cal State Los Angeles in the first game of the CCAA playoffs on the Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton.

Christopher Hendrickson can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.

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History favors title run for Wildcat baseball team