Chico State baseball splits series against Fresno Pacific


Alejandro Mejia Mejia

At the end of the inning, junior Jacob Jablonski takes off his helmet and hands it over to the first-baseman coach, to get his hat and glove to play defense.

The Chico State Baseball team went head-to-head against the Fresno Pacific Sunbirds in a three-game series, winning one of the three games this past weekend.

The Wildcats were defeated 7-8 by the Sunbirds in the first of three games due to a walk-off error in the bottom of the ninth inning on Feb. 11. 

Offensively the Wildcats had an impressive showing. The team totaled 17 hits in Friday’s matchup against the Sunbirds, with juniors Jarrett Lindsay and the California Athletic Association (CCAA) Player of the Week, Willie Lajoie, having three hits each at the plate. 

“I felt pretty good today,” Lindsay said. “Practicing everyday and believing I have done the right work … gives me the belief that I am put in a position to succeed.” 

That he did, Lindsay went three for four at the plate and had an RBI (run-batted-in) during the matchup.

However, what the Wildcats had issues with were mistakes made defensively and on the mound. 

“We made a lot of mistakes today on the mound and on defense,” Lindsay said. “We did not play anywhere close to our potential today.” 

On the mound, head coach Dave Taylor looked to the bullpen seven different times, trying a total of eight pitchers in the game. The Sunbirds were disciplined at the plate, drawing a total of 12 walks and only seven hits.

Infielder, Elijah Jackson is at the home plate anticipating the first pitch to be thrown.
Pictured on the left, sophomore Elijah Jackson is at the plate waiting for Saint Martin’s to throw a pitch. On Feb. 4, 2022, at Nettleton Stadium, the Wildcats defeated the Saints 13-0.

“Tomorrow [Saturday] we will look to clean up those mistakes and play clean baseball,” Lindsay said. 

In the first game of the doubleheader this past Saturday, the Wildcats were defeated 2-7 in a game that remained close up until the seventh inning. The game was 1-2 at the top of the seventh, and with runners on second and third, sophomore Grady Morgan hit a sacrifice fly to right field which tied the game against the Sunbirds.

The tie didn’t last long. In the same inning, Sunbirds’ freshman Khalid Johnson hit a two-run triple and the Sunbirds came out with a win in the first game of the day, with the final score of 7-2, favoring Fresno Pacific.

Later that day, the Wildcats ended with a positive note. Led by junior Braeden Gowdy and sophomore Gavin Kinney, Chico State defeated Fresno Pacific in the last game of the series 3-0. Gowdy pitched a total of four-innings and bagged four strikeouts in the process, picking up his second win of the season 

“It felt really good,” Gowdy said. “I think the team really needed to end the weekend on a positive note.”

The Wildcats had a quieter hitting game compared to what they are used to, only getting four hits. Despite this, they scored three runs in the first four innings to keep the Sunbirds out of the game. 

Defensively speaking, the Wildcats played to the best of their abilities in the last game, not allowing any runs in, and having no errors. 

“Everyday is a new day, we are going to show up and play the game we know we’re capable of,” Morgan said.

The 2022 Chico State Baseball team gathering around the right field line before the game.
Before taking the field, the baseball team gathers around to have a pregame speech.

The Wildcats will host the Simpson University Red Hawks in a doubleheader on Wednesday, with the first game starting at noon, and the second game at 3 p.m. at Nettleton Stadium.

Alejandro Mejia Mejia can be reached at [email protected]  or @MeijaMeijaAlex on Twitter.