Wildcat baseball pummels Stanislaus Warriors


Alejandro Mejia Mejia

Before taking the field, a group of fielders is talking before the start of the game. The Wildcats played Simpson University Red Hawks on Feb. 16, 2022. at Nettleton Stadium, defeating the Red Hawks 14-5.

The Chico State Baseball team traveled south to Turlock over the weekend sweeping the Stanislaus Warriors in a four-game series with the Wildcats outscoring the Warriors by 39 runs. This was the Wildcats first road-series sweep this season.

Coming off an important series over San Francisco State at home winning three games out of four. The Wildcats wanted to find success on the road, where they have struggled most of the season, with a 2-4 record before playing Stanislaus. 

“After dropping our first two road series it definitely took some pressure off our shoulders to get the first road series win,” senior outfielder Jack Murphy said. 

On Friday, the first game of the series hosted at Warrior Baseball Field saw the Wildcats win 20-6 in an offensive frenzy. 

“We won the series against San Francisco State and we used that momentum along with a good week at practice to come out ready to play against Stanislaus,” freshman pitcher Gerrit Erickson said.

The Wildcats scored eight runs in the first two innings by a combination of doubles and fielding errors from the Warriors.

On the mound, junior pitcher Rylan Tinsley pitched five innings, allowing six hits and three runs with four strikeouts. With his success on the mound, he picked up his fourth win of the year improving his record to 4-0.

Going into the eighth inning with the 20-6 lead, Erickson closed out the game for the Wildcats.

“I was excited to have the opportunity to close out the game,” Erickson said. “My team put us in a great position to win by scoring a lot of runs so I felt very comfortable out there on the mound.”

The Wildcats ended Friday’s game with a total of 16 hits with five players having a multi-hit game.

On Saturday’s first of two games the Wildcats beat the Warriors 15-7. The Wildcats trailed 2-7 going into the sixth inning, and were held scoreless since the top of the second. 

They needed a spark, and sophomore shortstop Elijah Jackson hit a single to third base that ignited what became a comeback win for the Wildcats.

Picture from left to right, sophomore shortstop Elijah Jackson and pitcher Cody Gentry are warming up before the inning begins.
Pictured from left to right, sophomore shortstop Elijah Jackson and pitcher Cody Gentry are warming up before the inning begins.

“All it takes is one hit to get the team rolling,” Murphy said. “We happened to string them all together at the right time when we needed it most.”

Once Jackson reached first base as a runner, the Wildcats continued to get runners on. They saw themselves have six hits in the sixth inning, regaining the lead 11-7.

The Wildcats struggled defensively, having four fielding errors. Sophomore pitcher Cody Gentry pitched 4.2 innings, allowing two strikeouts but giving up seven runs. However, only one run was an earned run.

“Making six errors [four in the first game on Saturday, two in the second game] is never good,” junior second baseman Jeffrey Ray said. “We just have to work harder to make the routine plays and play good catch.”

After a rough fifth inning for the Wildcats defensively, they witnessed great performances from junior pitcher Josh Verdon and Erickson once again. After Gentry’s exit from the game, Verdon pitched 3.1 innings, allowing zero runs and only three hits.

In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader the Wildcats won 13-5 after trailing 0-3 going into the fifth inning.

In the dugout, a group of Wildcat players are writing at the board discussing the pitcher change made by the Red Hawks in the bottom of the third inning.
In the dugout, a group of Wildcat players are writing on the board discussing the pitcher change made by the Red Hawks in the bottom of the third inning.

In the seven-inning game, the Wildcats desperately needed runs with only two innings left. Ray stepped up to the plate hitting an RBI single to left field that put the first score on the board for the Wildcats.

“Our team is really big at building off each other when we get guys on base,” Ray said. “All weekend we put together tough at-bats and put up big numbers in some innings which lead to a lot of momentum for us.”

The six-run inning was highlighted by sophomore designated hitter Kyle Dobson, who hit a 3 RBI double out to the left-center field gap which gave the Wildcats a 6-3 lead. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Warriors kept themselves in the game. They scored two runs off of walks that cut the Wildcats lead to a single run.

Going into the top of the seventh inning the Wildcats had another scoring spree. Junior first baseman Willie Lajoie put the game out of reach with the Wildcats scoring seven runs in the same inning. 

In the last game of the road trip for the Wildcats, they came up victorious winning 17-8. Both teams got off to an early scoring start. The Wildcats scored five runs in the third inning, and the Warriors scored seven in three innings. 

With the Warriors up 5-7, junior pitcher Braeden Gowdy exited the game early for his poor performance on the mound. Gowdy allowed eight hits and seven runs in two innings pitched.

Head coach Dave Taylor switched Gowdy out for sophomore relief pitcher Kevin Lyons. After getting out of a tough third inning, Lyons dominated on the mound to close the game.

“I knew I was the first call to the bullpen going into the game but it was unfortunate our, arguably, best arm [Gowdy] didn’t have his best stuff,” Lyons said. “I was able to pitch with more confidence when our offense got into a groove.”

Lyons pitched a season high of five innings, only allowing three hits, one run and four strikeouts. This performance by Lyons earned himself CCAA pitcher of the week.

“I was surprised [pitching five innings] considering they haven’t seen me throw that many innings before,” Lyons said. “It was nice to understand that he [coach Taylor] had the trust in me to keep sending me back out there.”

The offense rallied back in the fifth inning, gaining a 9-8 lead thanks to an RBI single by Lajoie. This put the game out of reach in the eighth inning with freshman Ernie Arambula hitting a two RBI out to center field.

The Wildcats are riding high on a four-game win streak going into this weekend’s series against San Marcos Cougars. They look to defend their 13-1 home record at Nettleton Stadium this Friday through Sunday. 

“It’s always a blast playing at home,” Erickson said. “The energy that we have at home games makes it hard for other teams to come here.”

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

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