‘Cats advance in west region

Junior Danny Miller smashed a two-run homer to put the Chico State baseball team ahead. Photo courtesy Chico Wildcats

The Chico State baseball team beat Dixie State 5-4 in the opening round of the NCAA Championship tournament West Regional Thursday at UC San Diego.

Dixie State controlled most of the game by a commanding three-run first inning. It wasn’t until the bottom of the eighth inning that the ‘Cats took their first lead. Pinch-hitter Danny Miller stepped into the box and hit a two-run home run down the right field line.

After the shake up in the first inning, Nick Baker settled in on the mound, only allowing one run for the rest of the game. Baker allowed five hits, two walks, and struck out one. The win put Baker at 10-1 for the year.

The game was finished out by Wildcat closer Luke Barker. With a one-run lead, Barker took the bump and went three up, three down in the ninth. Barker’s save tied him for the school’s single-season record at 15.

Connor Huesers brought his stick to the game with three hits for the day. Ruben Padilla and Danny Miller had two a piece.

The ‘Cats will match up against California Baptist Friday night at 7 p.m. in the winners’ bracket.

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