The Orion

Poor starting pitching and five errors lead to series split for Chico State

RJ+Hassey+led+off+for+the+Wildcats+Sunday+and+doubled+to+left+field.
RJ Hassey led off for the Wildcats Sunday and doubled to left field.

RJ Hassey led off for the Wildcats Sunday and doubled to left field.

Carly Maxstone

Carly Maxstone

RJ Hassey led off for the Wildcats Sunday and doubled to left field.

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The Chico State baseball team got off to a rough start in their final game against Cal State San Bernardino, and ultimately lost by a score of 3-11, forcing a series split.

Before the game, assistant coach Jose Garcia talked about setting the tone. “It starts with pitching and defense. Will (Curless) needs to come out and pound the zone and we need to play solid defense behind him. If we do that, I think we have a pretty good opportunity with the way we’ve been swinging lately.”

Unfortunately, this is exactly where the Wildcats struggled and the scoreboard showed it. Starting pitcher William Curless had his worst outing of the season, only lasting one and 2/3 innings, giving up six hits and allowing four earned runs. Curless also gave up two walks in his outing.

Relief pitchers Anthony Baleto, Dan Beavers, Andrew Lopez, Christian Stiegele and Andrew Schantz combined efforts to finish off the rest of the game. Usually a strong point for the Wildcats thus far, they seemed to have a rough time with the Coyotes as well.

Beavers and Schantz were able to hold the Coyotes scoreless during their time on the mound, but Lopez gave up a three run homer in the sixth and Stiegele was credited with three unearned runs in the eighth.

The Wildcats defense made five errors in the game, and many of them resulted in easy unearned runs for San Bernardino. Interestingly enough, four of the five errors came from different infielders. First baseman RJ Hassey, second baseman Louie Canjura, and shorstops Casey Henderson and Michael Lagier all made an error Sunday.

Sloppy defense has clearly become a problem for the Chico State baseball team, who have now committed 13 errors in their last three games. If the Wildcats look to succeed down the stretch, their defense needs to tighten up now.

One promising takeaway from this game, however, was the emeregence of extra base hits for the Wildcats offense. In the last three games, the Wildcats have had 31 hits, and two being extra base hits. Today, the ’Cats broke out with five extra base hits from five different players.

RJ Hassey, Tyler Stofiel, Luke Hussung and Brian Pozos each hit a double in the game in addition to Louie Canjura’s triple in the fifth.

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The Wildcats take play next at 6 p.m. Thursday when they travel south to take on Cal State Los Angeles.

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

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Poor starting pitching and five errors lead to series split for Chico State