Conference title slips out of Wildcats’ paws

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Photographs by Ernesto Rivera

The Chico State baseball team’s hopes of claiming the California Collegiate Athletic Association championship came up short Sunday, after a late inning comeback from Sonoma State.

The sixth-ranked Wildcats got off to a fast start, scoring four runs through three innings. Ryne Clark scored the first run of the game off an error by Sonoma State in the first inning.

The Seawolves would comeback to score three runs off of starting pitcher Marcos Lara in the third inning.

A two-run home run by catcher Peter Miller in the sixth inning gave the Wildcats a 7-3 lead and looked to have the game in their hands.

However, the ‘Cats would let the lead slip away. Sonoma State scored two runs in the bottom half of the sixth inning and ended Marcos Lara’s day early. Lara would pitch five innings, giving up five runs on five hits.

Sonoma State’s Alex Crosby crushed a go-ahead three-run home run in the seventh inning, sparking a five-run inning in the seventh inning off of Luke Barker, giving the Seawolves a 10-7 lead.

The Wildcats were unable to spark a dramatic comeback.

Sonoma State’s victory Sunday clinched the CCAA regular season conference title, giving them the number one seed in next week’s CCAA conference tournament.

The Wildcats end the regular season in second place with an overall record of 37-11 and 29-10 in conference play. They will kickoff the postseason against UC San Diego Thursday at 7 p.m.

Greg Silvia can be reached at [email protected] or @gsilvia on Twitter.