Baseball team gets competitive right off the bat

Norma Loya

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Fall baseball has commenced at Nettleton Stadium, where the 21st annual Cardinal and Black Fall Classic took place during Halloween weekend.

This four-game series has been a tradition for the baseball program at Chico State for 20 years.

Assistant coach Damon Lessler picked the players for the Cardinal squad and first-year assistant Andy Quiring chose members for the Black squad. Shortly after, the two teams competed against each other in a friendly duel.

“This year the Fall Classic introduced 24 new players into the Wildcat baseball program,” said head coach Dave Taylor. “It also featured senior pitchers Nick Baker and Ryan O’Shea, who made his fifth consecutive appearance in this event.”

Nick Baker ended the season last year by earning the First Team All-West Region award for his excellent pitching in the 2013 season. Baker’s junior year performance was regarded as one of the best seasons by a starting pitcher in Chico State history. He finished the 2012-13 season with an 8-4 win-loss record and a 2.36 ERA.

Ryan O’Shea is also a top pitcher for the Wildcats and a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. O’Shea, who is going into the final year of his career with Chico State, is one of 20 Wildcat letter-winners.

The two teams, Cardinal and Black, competed against each other to gain real-game experience. One of the rules in the game is that every teammate gets a chance to play.

Participating in the Fall Classic is a great experience for the members of the team, said senior Drew Freeman.

“The Fall Classic is a good, competitive playing environment where we successfully displayed our pitching and defense,” Freeman said.

Game one was a 9-inning battle where Ryan O’Shea and Marcus Lara brought the heat with their pitching. Senior outfielder Ronnie Galosic, who led off with a triple against O’Shea, and senior third baseman Ruben Padilla, were among the hitting highlights of the game.

“It was great to see different people step up in their individual positions.”

-Ronnie Galosic

Games two, three and four took four innings each, and included pitching battles from Drew Freeman, Nick Baker, Luke Barker, Alex Mistuloff, Matt Hutchins and Robert Engles.

The live game experience the players got from the Fall Classic is great practice,  Galosic said.

“It was an exciting preview for the season,” Galosic said. “It was great to see different people step up in their individual positions.”

For everyone looking forward to the Wildcats’ 2014 season, it will begin in a few short months on Feb. 1 at Nettleton Stadium, where the team will battle against Fresno Pacific University.


Jordyn Provence can be reached at [email protected] or @jordyprov on Twitter.

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