Wildcats slide past San Marcos Cougars, winning 3 games over the weekend


Alejandro Mejia Mejia

On March 25, 2022. sophomore shortstop Elijah Jackson slides into third base off of a sacrifice fly. The Wildcats defeated the Cougars 18-4 at Nettleton Stadium. Jackson went 3 for 3 at the plate having one RBI and scoring three runs.

The No. 18 Chico State Baseball team (22-6) hosted the San Marcos Cougars (10-16) this past weekend at Nettleton Stadium, winning three of four games played and setting a school record, scoring 10 runs in seven consecutive games.

“We are able to put up big numbers by having each other’s backs … buying into the game plan,” freshman second baseman Ernie Arambula said. “At the end of the day we are playing really well.” 

In Friday’s game against the Cougars, the Wildcats continued their win streak beating San Marcos 18-4. In the matchup, Chico State had big scoring innings in both the fourth and fifth, giving the Wildcats momentum to score a total of 16 runs in two innings.

On the mound, junior left-handed pitcher Rylan Tinsley picked up his fifth win of the season, giving him an undefeated record thus far. With relief-work from freshman Gerrit Erickson and Eddie Rios, the Wildcats had zero walks in the game.

“The momentum we had was huge as it gave us a lot of room to work with,” Tinsley said. “When you are up by that much as a pitcher you just want to attack the zone and I think we did a good job of that.” 

In the fifth inning, the Wildcats had a total of nine hits. The offensive slug-fest started with junior Michael Bennin hitting a double and finished with junior second baseman Jeffrey Ray hitting a double out to left field, scoring two runners.

“We had some really good practices this week to prepare us for this weekend,” Tinsley said. “We came out ready to play on the defensive side and offensively which allowed us to take the game.”

On the pitchers mound, junior Rlyan Tinsley in pitching motion thorwing to the batter he faced. In the 18-4 win, Tinsley pitched a total of six innings, allowing six hits, four runs and having two strikeouts.
On the pitcher’s mound, junior Rlyan Tinsley in pitching motion throwing to the batter he faced. In the 18-4 win, Tinsley pitched a total of six innings, allowing six hits, four runs and having two strikeouts.

In Saturday’s first game of the doubleheader, Chico State continued their win streak beating the Cougars 11-3. With a 5-1 lead going in the bottom of the seventh inning, and bases loaded with one out, Ray smashed the ball out of the stadium giving him his first grand slam of the season.

“It’s always a great feeling to hit a home run, and for it to be a grand slam at home in front of our fans it made it twice as good,” Ray said.

With Ray’s play over the past weekend, he was recognized as the California Collegiate Athletic Association player of the week. Ray went 7-11 at the plate, batting a .636 batting average, having seven RBIs and two stolen bases. 

“It’s a great honor to be named player of the week,” Ray said, “I was very hyped to receive this award, I give all glory to God.” 

The Wildcats had no trouble making contact throughout the game, totaling 11 hits and having multi-hit games from Ray and sophomores Grady Morgan and Elijah Jackson

In the 11-3 victory, sophomore pitcher Cody Gentry started and had an impressive showing. Gentry allowed a total of seven hits, one run and two strikeouts over the seven innings he pitched, improving his overall record to 5-1 on the season. 

In the second game of the day the Wildcats rallied in the sixth inning, scoring six of their 10 total runs and defeating the Cougars 10-6. With the win, the team broke the school record for most consecutive games with 10 run games since 1997

“Our offense has been fantastic this year which has taken a lot of stress off our pitching staff,” junior pitcher Josh Verdon said. “It was nice to see our arms get to throw against an opponent with a bit more stress, it was a good test for our team.”

Chico State had a 4-0 lead going into the bottom of the fourth inning, with Ray and junior catcher Jarret Lindsay on second and third base. Junior first baseman Willie Lajoie hit a ball out to center field, allowing both runners to score which started the six-run inning for the Wildcats. 

The Cougars were down by nine runs going into the fifth inning, and put a rally together of their own. Sophomore Austin McFarlane allowed the Cougars to get on base with him exiting off of a single that scored two runners for San Marcos.

However, the late scoring wasn’t enough for the Cougars to come back. The Wildcats held onto a four-run lead to win the last game on Saturday.

In the last game of the series between Chico State and San Marcos in the CCAA conference, the Cougars ended the Wildcats 10-run streak defeating them 1-2 in what was a pitcher’s duel. 

On the mound to start the game, junior pitcher Braeden Gowdy had a bounce-back performance pitching a total of six innings, allowing nine hits, two strikeouts and one run.

The Wildcats struggled to hit the ball, with the team totaling only four hits on Sunday. For the Cougars, junior pitcher Garrett Apker pitched all nine innings allowing four hits, one run and having 11 strikeouts against Chico State.

“It was very difficult facing a tough pitcher,” Arambula said. “We tried our best at the end of the day and gave it our all to get on base and battle at the plate but we fell short.”

With the Wildcats winning three of their four games over the weekend, they improved their conference record to 15-4. 

This weekend, the Wildcats will head south to Los Angeles to play the California State Los Angeles Golden Eagles. The first of four games will be played on Friday with the game starting at 6 p.m.

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

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