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The Orion

Chico State baseball walks it off to split series against Monterey Bay

“Taking tough at bats and pitching in tough situations really helped us get to a split series on Sunday.” Assistant coach Taylor said
Aaron Draper
Left Fielder Troy Kent taking a swing in the 5th inning. Taken by Aaron Draper.

Chico State baseball took on first-place Cal State Monterey Bay in a back-and-forth series this past weekend. The series ended with both teams collecting two wins, despite the Sea Otters taking wins in the first two games.

Game one on Friday night was as close as could be imagined through all nine innings. Senior pitcher Marco Ibara threw for seven innings while only giving up three runs. 

Down one run heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, Chico would rally together, loading the bases as junior outfielder Troy Kent, would come up to the plate. Kent sent one deep into the right center field gap that would ultimately end the game after a sliding catch from the Monterey Bay center fielder.

“I knew we had a shot with Troy up there in the ninth, he’s been great for us all year and having him up with the bases loaded really put the pressure on Monterey.” Assistant coach Mark Taylor said. “Troy put a great swing on it but they got to it. That’s just baseball.”

Saturday packed a rollercoaster of emotions for Wildcat fans during the traditional nine inning/seven inning doubleheader as each game was decided by one run. The first game of the doubleheader ended in a loss for Chico as Monterey Bay took a one-run lead in the top of the ninth. Chico needed an answer after dropping the first two games and they found one, squeezing out a 4-3 win in the second game of the day.

Sophomore infielder Lorenzo Mariani went 4-6 on the day, including three RBI’s and two stolen bases. Junior catcher Jermey Keller, junior infielder Elijah Pascual and senior infielder Carson Stevens each added three hits on the day. Sophomore pitcher Ethan Lay gave a solid pitching performance in the second game of the doubleheader, shoving five strikeouts and picking up his fifth win of the season.

Heading into the last game of the series, Chico needed a win to even things out 2-2. 

In similar fashion to many other games this season, the Wildcats would find themselves in a tied-ball game heading into the ninth inning. After collecting three outs in the top of the ninth, Chico was presented with the opportunity to steal another win off first place Monterey Bay. 

After two quick outs Chico would begin to see the opportunity fading. Junior infielder Daniel Vierra kept his patience at the plate and collected a walk, extending the inning. 

Shortly after Stevens would put a stamp on the final game of the weekend, sending one out of the park and walking off the game, bumping Chico from fifth, to fourth place in the CCAA standings.

“Taking tough at bats and pitching in tough situations really helped us get to a split series on Sunday.” Assistant coach Taylor said. 

The Wildcats will be heading down to Hayward next weekend, where they will match up in another four-game-series against 10th place Cal State East bay. The first game is at 3 p.m. on Friday. Friday’s game can be viewed here.

Nathan Paddock can be reached at [email protected].

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Nate Paddock
Nate Paddock, Reporter
Nate Paddock is a journalism major in his third year at Chico State. Nate has had a passion for sports since he could remember including basketball, football and soccer and is excited to incorporate that passion into The Orion. After graduation Nate hopes to become a beat writer for a professional team in any of the three sports listed earlier!

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