‘Cats come up short in game 1 of CCAA tourney

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Ruben Padilla stands in the box in the bottom of the 9th for Chico State. Photo courtesy of Ryan Grady

A game of missed opportunities sends the Wildcats to the losing bracket. UC San Diego topped Chico State 5-3 in the first round of the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament Thursday night in Stockton.

The ‘Cats were just 4 for 11 when coming to the plate with runners in scoring position.

It was a game that had fans on the edge of their seats all the way until the ninth inning. The score was a dead lock tie going into the last inning 3-3 and anybody’s ballgame. The Triton’s pushed home two runs on two hits that secured a lead that eventually lead to a victory.

The ‘Cats came out strong setting the tone by scoring in the first and fifth inning, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Triton’s offense late in the game.

Nick Baker had a solid outing, starting the game and going six strong innings. Baker allowed only two runs on eight hits, only one being earned. The defense really picked him up in crucial situations. Cody Slader and Ryan McClellan flashed their leather in the middle-infield, turning multiple double plays.

Robert Hook picked up the loss in relief.

Ryne Clark displayed a hitting clinic in game one. Clark went 4 for 5 and scored two of Chico State’s three runs.

While this loss sets the Wildcats into the losers’ bracket, the tournament is double elimination. Chico will get a shot at revenge against Sonoma State, which lost to Cal Poly Pomona earlier in the day.

The elimination game will be played tomorrow at Banner Island Ballpark with first pitch at 3 p.m.

Ryan Grady can be reached at [email protected] or @RyanGrady23 on Twitter.