Wildcat baseball loses first road conference series against Pomona Broncos


Alejandro Mejia Mejia

Behind home plate, junior Jarret Lindsay looking towards the dugout waiting for a pitch to be thrown.

The No. 14 ranked Chico State Baseball had their first road series this past weekend for the California Collegiate Athletic Association conference against the Pomona Broncos, only winning one of three games they played.

The Wildcats were shut out against the Broncos this past Friday losing 14-0. The Wildcats were held to a total of three hits in nine innings. For the Broncos, freshman pitcher Will Rudy had himself a near-perfect game. Rudy pitched eight full innings and had 12 strikeouts amongst the 24 batters he faced.

During Friday’s game, head coach Dave Taylor went into the bullpen and made three pitching changes throughout the shutout loss. Freshman pitcher Cayden Castellanos did not enter the game, but he did see his team struggle offensively during the matchup. 

“Friday, we just struggled to find a rhythm offensively and they came out swinging the bats,” Castellanos said.

The Broncos had no problem scoring and by the end of the third they were up by eight runs. This led to an early exit for sophomore starting pitcher Cody Gentry in the bottom of the fourth inning. The loss on Friday was the first for Gentry, who has a 3-1 record this season.

On Saturday March 7, the Wildcats and Broncos only played one of two games scheduled for that day because of poor weather in Pomona. The game began just after 3 p.m., and during the first inning senior Jack Murphy smashed a home run out to right field giving the Wildcats an early lead.

Junior center fielder Andrew Crane was hit by a pitch which put a runner on base in the third inning. This brought Murphy back to the batter’s box once again and he smacked an RBI triple to the right field line, earning him his second hit of the game.

However, Murphy’s two hits were the only action the Wildcats saw on Saturday. Up 3-0 and going into the eighth inning, Taylor went to the bullpen and put in sophomore Gavin Kinney. The Broncos started to gain momentum after getting hit by pitches and being walked. Broncos freshman Luke Watson hit a two RBI triple effectively cutting the Wildcat’s lead to one. 

Without getting an out, Kinney was taken out of the game and junior Eric Hill checked in. The Broncos gained a 5-3 lead off of a two-run home run in the eighth inning, which led to another Broncos victory.

In the final game in the series on Sunday March 8, the Wildcats won 13-9 and improved their record to 12-4 for the season, and 5-2 in CCAA.

In the first four innings, the Wildcats led 10-0 due to multiple home runs, most notably a three-run home run to left field from junior catcher Jarret Lindsay

“That was really important, getting people on base early in the inning,” Lindsay said, “We did that with a couple of bunts … the two games prior we didn’t do a good job of getting on base.”

The Wildcats had five players with multi-hit games, led by sophomore Grady Morgan who went a perfect 4-4 at the plate. The bullpen had an impressive showing; Junior pitcher Braeden Gowdy pitched five innings, allowing one run and collecting five strikeouts.

“It was big, we needed the win for morale,” Gowdy said, “To make the bus ride not so miserable.”

Following Gowdy’s exit from the game, the bullpen allowed a total of eight runs among three pitchers, but the Wildcats secured the win after extending their lead to 13-6 in the top of the ninth inning.

The Broncos started to gain momentum toward the end by scoring three runs, but Hill closed out the game to secure the Wildcat’s win of 13-9. 

Chico State Baseball are set to host the San Francisco Gators in a four-game series at Nettleton Stadium this Friday through Sunday. The Wildcats are undefeated (10-0) when playing at home with a 4-0 record in CCAA conference games.

“We just need to keep our positive mindset and continue to play our brand of baseball,” Gowdy said.

For more information about Chico State Baseball, visit the Wildcats homepage

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