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Wildcats flip the script to take both in doubleheader against San Marcos

Nathan Chiochios
Sophomore shortstop Lorenzo Mariani, right, making a tough throw on a ground ball up the middle against Cal State San Marcos. Taken by Nathan Chiochios on Mar. 16.

After a tough loss Friday night, the Wildcats turned the momentum in their favor against first-place Cal State San Marcos.

The Wildcats gave the Cougars a taste of their own medicine in game one of the doubleheader, blowing them out 15-4 with a lights-out performance from starting pitcher Marco IbarraIbarra had three strikeouts in seven innings pitched, giving the bullpen some much needed rest after having six pitchers throw in Friday’s blowout. 

“San Marcos can swing it,” he said. “I was just trying to recover for the bullpen.”

The Wildcats struck first on offense, putting up two runs in the third, starting with an RBI bunt from second baseman Elijah Pascual. Junior Jeremy Keller singled to right field, which scored Alexander Johnson.

The Cougars answered back, with a two-run home run from Cameron Mahaffy, tying the game at two apiece.

The Wildcat’s offense, looking to make a statement, then put up ten runs in the bottom of the fourth. The rally was highlighted by a three-run home run from junior outfielder Troy Kent, his third of the season.

The Cougars would homer one more time, but the lead was too great, and the Wildcats sailed to a win in the first game of the doubleheader.

They took the momentum they had in game one into the second game, winning in a nail-biter by a score of 3-2. 

Starting pitcher Nolan Meredith gave the team a solid inning and two-thirds, only giving up one earned run. Head Coach Dave Taylor then went to the bullpen, who held it down, keeping the Wildcats in the lead for the rest of the game

“Those four guys are our horses late in the game,” Taylor said, referring to relievers Ryan Silvers, Joseph Loubert, Jeremy Keller and Scott Lewis.

The Cougars struck first, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. However, the Wildcat’s bats didn’t skip a beat, putting up two runs in the bottom of the first with a line-drive double from sophomore first baseman Jesse Gadd, taking the lead.

“I just got a pitch to hit, and I had to do a job,” Gadd said. “But if it wasn’t for the other two guys getting on base, we would’ve lost that game.”

The game stayed at a score of 2-1 until the bottom of the fourth when sophomore Stefan Foley grounded out, but a throwing error allowed Gadd to score after advancing to third on the fielder’s choice. 

The Cougars made a push to comeback, with a double from San Marcos’ Victor Castaneda that bounced off the left-center field wall, scoring one. However, the Wildcats were able to hang on and close the game out, winning 3-2.

With the two wins, the Wildcats knocked San Marcos out of first-place in the CCAA, and took the lead in a crucial series early in the season.

“Every conference win is huge, especially at home.”

— Marco Ibarra

The Wildcats look to take the series on Sunday, with the first pitch set for 11 a.m. at Nettleton Stadium. Any Chico State student can go to the game for free, and the game can be streamed here.

For information about all Chico State athletics, visit the Wildcat homepage.


Nathan Chiochios can be reached at [email protected].


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About the Contributor
Nathan Chiochios
Nathan Chiochios, Sports Editor
Nathan Chiochios is in his third year at Chico State as a journalism (news) major. He is from Mountain View, a town in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is his second semester on The Orion, and his first semester as sports editor, and he looks forward to growing his journalism and writing skills. In his free time, he spends most of his time skateboarding and hanging out with friends and family.

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