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The Orion

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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Extra innings allow Wildcats to win out doubleheader

Tyler Stofiel hits a bunt and successfully gets to first, loading the bases during the second game on May 4, 2018, against Stanislaus State. Photo credit: Martin Chang

Game One:

Chico State’s baseball team won a pair of nail-biters in a doubleheader Friday against the Fresno Pacific University Sunbirds.

The Wildcats scored two early runs in the first inning of game one when the Sunbirds committed two errors.

Grant Larson started for the Wildcats Friday, April 20, 2018, against Cal State Dominguez Hills and pitched five innings. Photo credit: Alex Grant

This game was lead by captain and starting pitcher Grant Larson.

Larson threw six solid innings on 77 pitches without allowing a run. Larson struck out six and only gave up three hits.

“I would get ahead with my curveball,” Larson said. “They would just take all day and then I would come in with my changeup.”

The Sunbirds did not literally take all day and they rallied in the ninth inning against Wildcat pitcher Connor Stealey, but pitcher Sid Lacy relieved Stealey to get the final out and secure the win for the Wildcats.

Game Two:

It took extra innings to decide whether the Wildcats were going to win both games.

The Sunbirds jumped on the board in the first inning after a failed pickoff attempt allowed a leadoff walk to reach second base. Two sacrifice flies later, the Sunbirds were leading the Wildcats by a run at the end of the first inning.

The Sunbirds scored one more in the fifth inning before the Wildcats’ bats finally woke up.

Chico State rallied for two runs in the eighth inning to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

Chico State Head Coach Dave Taylor makes a mound visit against Northwest Nazarene on April 28, 2018. Photo credit: Austin Schreiber

In the 12th inning, Tyler Stofiel doubled to left field. Then after a sacrifice bunt put Stofiel on third base, the leadoff hitter, JT Navarro, singled to score Stofiel.

“I had been getting fastballs up all day, struck out, and I guess they just didn’t get up enough,” Navarro said about his game-winning hit. “I got ahold of it and was able to get a hit.”

Navarro plans to relax a little more at the plate tomorrow as the first game jitters and excitement affected his game today.

The team is excited about coming back to Chico with the series win and looks to go for the sweep tomorrow morning against Fresno Pacific.

First pitch Saturday morning is at 11 a.m.

Brandon Downs can be reached at [email protected] or @downsbrandon2 on Twitter.

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