Wildcats win first game of CCAA playoffs


Junior Casey Bennett takes his lead from first during a game against Sonoma State. Photo credit: Jacob Auby

The Chico State baseball team defeated the Cal Poly Pomona Broncos 6-2 in the first round of the CCAA playoffs in Stockton on May 11. This win gives the team a 1-0 record to start the double elimination tournament.

The Wildcats are one game closer to winning the tournament as they only have two more games until the West Regional Tournament Championship. From there, Chico State has its eye on the NCAA Division II College World Series in Cary, North Carolina.

Chico State was locked in from the get go.

The Wildcats took advantage of an errant throw by the Broncos’ third baseman and scored junior designated hitter Dillon Kelley for the first run of the game. RBI singles from senior catcher Cody Bistline and junior outfielder Sonny Cortez in the fifth inning thickened Chico State’s lead to 3-0. Kelley scored once more in the sixth, his 29th of the season.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Broncos mustered enough strength to score two runs, applying some pressure on the ‘Cats with a score of 4-2 heading into the eighth inning.

Chico State was not phased by this advancement as senior infielder Ben Gamba and junior infielder Dallas Porter scored two additional runs in the last two innings.

After pitching seven frames with only two runs allowed, junior pitcher Clayton Gelfand was replaced in the eighth by junior pitcher Grant Wright. Wright effectively closed the game for Chico State 6-2 with two shutout frames.

The Wildcats face the UC San Diego Tritons on May 12 in Stockton for the second round of the CCAA West Regional Tournament.

Anna Baytosh can be reached at [email protected] or @anna_baytosh on Twitter.