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Wildcats win close game against UC San Diego

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Wildcats win close game against UC San Diego

The Chico State dugout looks on after junior infielder Casey Bennett sprints to first. Photo credit: Allisun Coote

The Chico State dugout looks on after junior infielder Casey Bennett sprints to first. Photo credit: Allisun Coote

The Chico State dugout looks on after junior infielder Casey Bennett sprints to first. Photo credit: Allisun Coote

The Chico State dugout looks on after junior infielder Casey Bennett sprints to first. Photo credit: Allisun Coote

Patrick Pace

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Junior outfielder Cody Snider seemed to be everywhere on the field during the first half of Chico State’s doubleheader against the UC San Diego Tritons. He was the catalyst in the victory, making key plays at the end of the game.

It was a game of runs, with the Tritons taking a 2-0 lead by the top of the second inning. The Wildcats then retaliated with two runs in the bottom of the second to tie the game.

This tie would not last long as the Tritons had a huge fourth inning in which they scored three runs, one being a one-run home run over the right field fence. They then scored another run in the sixth. It looked as if the Tritons were pulling away, but the Wildcats would not go out without a fight.

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Junior catcher Dillon Kelley gets instructions from his teammates on where to slide during a play at the plate. Photo credit: Allisun Coote

After RBI singles by junior outfielder Sonny Cortez in the fourth and junior infielder Andru Cardenas in the fifth, senior first baseman Ben Gamba had a big couple of innings for the Wildcats.

In the sixth he singled up the middle for an RBI, and in the eighth he flew out to left field for another. He tied the game for the ‘Cats at 6-6 going into the ninth inning.

This is where Snider came in clutch for his team on both defense and offense. The Tritons were threatening to score in the top of the ninth with a runner on third and only one out. Snider caught a sacrifice fly and proceeded to fire the ball to home plate, where it reached a split second before the runner did for the out. The double play proved to be costly for the Tritons.

In the bottom of the ninth, Snider was hit by a pitch and that started the rally for the ‘Cats. He then beat the throw on a well placed bunt by junior outfielder Josh Falco, and scored when senior outfielder Braxton Phillips hit a single up the middle. The Wildcats pulled out a 7-6 win to start the day.

The sweep puts the Wildcats 20-6 on the season and 10-4 in conference play. The ‘Cats will be playing their next game on the road against Cal State San Marcos on Saturday, April 2 at 12 p.m.

Top performers:

Ben Gamba: 2 H, 2 RBIs

Cody Snider: 2 R, 1 H, 3 PO

Patrick Pace can be reached at [email protected] or @PatPaceSports on Twitter.

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Wildcats win close game against UC San Diego