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The Orion

Chico State baseball team splits doubleheader

Senior Ben Gamba waits for the ball in a game against Academy of Art. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

In a make up for rained-out games on March 5, the Chico State Wildcats faced the Cal State East Bay Pioneers on April 5 in East Bay. The Wildcats won the first and lost the second of two high-scoring bouts.

Game One

In the first game East Bay got off to a hot start, scoring two runs in the first inning and one in the second. The Wildcats then surged to score six runs in the third, highlighted by a RBI single by senior first baseman Ben Gamba that brought two players in as well as a two-run RBI by junior Casey Bennett.

The Wildcats were up 6-3 in the top of the third, but not for long. The Pioneers scored six runs of their own in the bottom of the third. It was a game of runs, with the Wildcats scoring two runs in the top of the fourth to bring the game to 8-9. From then on, both teams stayed in the game until the very end.

In the ninth inning the score was 11-11, and the ‘Cats were finally able to break out. The Wildcats batted in four runs and gained the lead for good. East Bay put up a fight, scoring two runs in the final inning, but junior pitcher Steven Baker ended the game with a strikeout and the Wildcats came away with a 15-13 victory.

Junior Jarrett Maas sprints to first base after hitting the ball in a game against Academy of Art. Photo credit: Lindsay Pincus

Game Two

In the second game the Wildcats did not fare as well. It started off the right way, with Gamba hitting a two-run home run in the top of the first inning.

Though the Pioneers retaliated by scoring two runs of their own in the first inning, the ‘Cats regained control again in the third. Gamba hit another two-run RBI to put Chico State up 4-2. Then juniors outfielder Josh Falco and infielder Andru Cardenas hit RBIs as well to bring the score to 7-2.

The Wildcats looked to have control, especially after scoring two more runs in the fifth, but Cal State East Bay slowly crawled its way back into the game. Scoring three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, the Pioneers brought the game within three with a few more innings to play.

East Bay then held the ‘Cats scoreless after the fifth inning and continued to score runs until the game was all tied up. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Pioneers hit a walk-off single to end it, and Chico State ended the day with a disappointing loss.

The ‘Cats will be playing in their next doubleheader on Saturday, April 9, at Nettleton Stadium against Cal State Dominguez Hills.

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

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