‘Cats crowned West Region champs

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The Chico State baseball team dog piles after winning the NCAA West Region Championship. Photo courtesy of Brooke Langeloh.

On a weekend where many students were graduating to the next chapter of their lives, the Chico State baseball team was moving on to the next chapter of their season.

The Wildcats won the NCAA West Region Championship with a 3-1 win over UC San Diego on Sunday, and by doing so punched their tickets for the Division II College World Series.

Alex Mistuloff pitched into the fifth inning for Chico State (43-13) and left with a 1-0 lead. The Tritons, however, tied the game on an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth.

The Wildcats came back in the top of the seventh, putting a pair of runs on the board to go up 3-1. Robert Hook bridged the gap to closer Luke Barker, as he kept UC San Diego scoreless in both the seventh and eighth innings.

Barker finished out the title match with a scoreless inning. It was his fourth save of the tournament and Chico State-record 18th on the year.

The championship marks Chico State’s ninth in the last 18 years. The ‘Cats will now await the beginning of the College World Series in Cary, North Carolina. The tournament begins May 24.

Nicholas Woodard can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports on Twitter.