Late inning losses spoil series for Chico State baseball


Manager Dave Taylor makes a mound visit to talk with relief pitcher Anthony Baleto Photo credit: Austin Schreiber

The Chico State baseball team had a rough weekend in Monterey Bay, dropping three of four games to the Otters.

They are now 13-7 through their first 20 games of the season, 9-5 in conference.

Game one, which was the longest in Chico State baseball history at 15 innings, disappointingly ended in an 11-12 loss for the Wildcats on a walk-off. Pitcher Casey Costello gave up a season high seven earned runs, lasting just 3 1/3 innings. This was his first start of less than five innings bumping his ERA from 1.64 to 3.22. The Wildcats blew late leads in both the ninth and fifteenth innings to give the Otters the win.

Game two, which the Wildcats won by a score of 8-3, was highlighted by several strong performances. On the offensive side of the ball, designated hitter Alex DeVito went a perfect five for five with five singles and three RBIs while catcher Tyler Stofiel and second baseman Trevor Steinman collected three hits each. On the defensive side, relief pitchers Dan Beavers and Anthony Baleto combined to shut the Otters out through the last four innings of the game. Beavers worked through the sixth, seventh and eighth innings before Baleto came in to close things out in the ninth, striking out the final player of the game.

Games three and four were also disappointing losses for the Wildcats, coming by scores of 0-3 and 3-4.

Pitcher Grant Larson had a solid start on the mound in game three, throwing six innings of two run ball. However, he was clearly outmatched by Cal State Monterey Bay pitcher Levi Noddin, who threw eight innings of shutout baseball. Noddin kept the Wildcats bats quiet all game, only allowing two hits while striking out six.

Game four, which was shortened to seven innings, was started by pitcher William Curless for the Wildcats. Curless tossed four innings, allowing two runs. For the offense, Wildcats left fielder Turner Olson hit an RBI double in the third inning before shortstop Casey Henderson knocked in two runs with an RBI single in the sixth to tie the game at three. This was not enough run support to get the win, however, as relief pitcher Jae Wagner gave up the game winning home run in the bottom of the sixth.

It was a rough end to the series, but ’Cats look to use it as motivation for their next matchup against the Cal State East Bay Pioneers, beginning at 3 p.m. Friday at Nettleton Stadium.

Austin Schreiber can be reached at [email protected] or @aschreiber94 on Twitter.