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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State baseball wins on wild pitch in first CCAA tournament game

Right fielder Kyle Blakeman launches a home run in the third inning against Cal Poly Pomona Photo credit: Martin Chang

The Chico State baseball team emerged victorious with a 4-3 walk-off win in the first round of the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament against Cal Poly Pomona.

With the score tied at three heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Wildcats were able to get the leadoff man on base. Catcher Tyler Stofiel was hit by a pitch and replaced by pinch runner Michael Lagier, who stole second base during the next at bat. Lagier then advanced to third on a wild pitch, which led to the Broncos intentionally walking shortstop Casey Henderson and center fielder Dustin Miller to load the bases.

With two outs and the winning run on third, second baseman Louie Canjura stepped into the batters box. Cal Poly Pomona decided to make a last minute pitching change, but its move was unsuccessful. A wild pitch that got away from the catcher brought Lagier home and the Wildcats were able to walk off and put themselves in the winner’s bracket.

Starting pitcher Casey Costello had a solid game on the mound, tossing eight innings while giving up two runs and striking out seven. This was Costello’s fourth win in a row and third start in a row with at least seven strikeouts.

Costello was relieved by pitcher Jae Wagner, who gave up a rare earned run in the ninth. Wagner only gave up one other earned run all season, and currently owns a team-best ERA with a 0.58.

Right fielder Kyle Blakeman made some huge contributions on offense, slugging a two-run homer to left field in the third and collecting an RBI single in the seventh. All three Wildcats runs came courtesy of Blakeman, who has been red hot at the plate lately. In his last six games, Blakeman has nine hits and nine RBIs. He has clearly found his place in the leadoff spot, and now owns a .324 batting average.

Top performers:

  • Casey Costello: 8 IP, 2 ER, 7 SO
  • Kyle Blakeman: 2-5, HR, 3 RBI

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

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