Category Archives: Chico State

New Day….New Energy…..I Believe

Tommy Lasorda was asked after a tough loss once how he slept ?

“I slept like a baby, one hour up and one hour down.”

I imagine the Chico State Wildcats baseball team had a few restless hours after laying their heads on the pillow last night. The magical comeback resulting in victory was not to be at the Division II West Region Baseball Tournament and now the #1 ranked in the nation Wildcats have no more tomorrows, because today, and today only is their day of reckoning.

The Wildcats will take on Division-I bound Cal Baptist this morning in an elimination game at this regional. The winner gets to keep playing while the loser sees their season come to an unceremonious end.

In my 20 years calling Chico State baseball this team ranks right up there with some of the best and most fun I have ever called. At no time do I ever believe this team is out of a game. As I sit writing this I don’t see a daunting task in front of them that may seem to the outsider as insurmountable. I see another challenge laid down before this incredibly competitive and talented group.

How does a club win four or five games in four days against really good teams ? Ahhhh, there’s the trap. Chico State doesn’t have to win four or five games in four days. All they have to do is win today. That’s it. Just win today. Win the moment. Win the present. Be aware, with laser like precision of this very  moment and the Wildcats will be fine.

This team has always wanted to do things that this historic program has never done. Here is their chance. No Chico State baseball team has ever come back to win a regional, let alone play for a regional or World Series title after dropping their first game. The gauntlet has been cast. The challenge is before them.

I am excited to see them get after it today !!!

 

Peaking Wildcats making a run at a National Championship……

 

It’s not that we didn’t think they could do it, but to expect it was totally unfair.

The Chico State men’s basketball is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota getting ready to take on Lincoln Memorial at the Elite Eight for Division II basketball. The Wildcats magic carpet ride was punctuated last weekend with three splendid performances against the three respective regular season champions in the West Region.

First, Chico knocked off high-scoring Western Washington 96-83. Despite giving up 83 points the Wildcats were more than happy getting in a shootout with the Vikings. For the first time in a long time the Wildcats found room to move on the floor. Passing lanes that were clogged and impediments that were common place during CCAA play all of sudden turned into wide gulfs of space with which they could run their offense unimpeded against a Western team that gave up nearly 80 points a game. It must have felt like a jail-break for Chico State.

The free-flowing offense where movement and motion was rewarded. It had been a while since Chico had been that wide open for drives and shots. The game was truly a testament to how good the CCAA is. To win the CCAA you MUST play defense, if not you will get carved to pieces.

On day two the Wildcats encountered a frisky bulldog-tough type of team in Hawaii-Pacific. If the Sharks were a baseball team I would affectionately call them a bunch of “dirt-bags.” Fluidity of play and dogged aggressiveness characterized the Pacific West Conference Champions. We saw them systematically take care of the best defensive team in the country, CCAA-rival Sonoma State. I was thoroughly impressed with their defensive doggedness and anticipated Chico State would have their hands full.

Chico’s 15-point lead with 9:30 to go eventually turned into a one-point deficit with 1:55 to go. A furious 25-9 rally by the Sharks had the Wildcats on their heels, before Chico State righted the ship. The Wildcats ability to rescue the game after coughing up a 15 lead showed Chico State had come a long way in a year. After Isaiah Ellis took a charge with the Cats down and with 4 fouls, Robert Duncan made a driving lay-up. After Corey Silverstrom registered a steal and driving bucket the Cats had the whip-hand and outlasted HPU 77-74. The win showed many of us Chico State lifers a toughness that at times had been missing over the last few years. It’s hard to be critical of a team that has had as much success as the Wildcats for the last several years. But, sometimes and on rare occasions, when things went south, the Cats had a hard time pulling themselves out of the abyss, especially in the middle of a game. Not this time, though.

This Chico State team made winning plays to beat Hawaii-Pacific. Sealed the game with defense and disciplined offense and moved on to the regional championship game against UC San Diego.

The championship tilt against the rival Tritons will simply go down as one of the great basketball games in Chico State Wildcats history. 10 days before this title match-up UCSD had come out in the CCAA semi-final game and as All-American guard Robert Duncan said, “punched Chico in the mouth.” With 4 minutes left in the 1st half UCSD had jumped out to a 27-11 lead. The Wildcat offense was stagnant. There was not movement, no aggressiveness, a passivity to their flow that was not conducive to winning basketball. When the final horn sounded it was San Diego 65-53 over Chico State. The final score only told a portion of the story. The Tritons had taken the fight to Chico State, and for this team to accomplish the things they wanted to accomplish, that had to change.

Right from the out-set you could tell the Wildcats wouldn’t lose this game for a lack of fight. On their first possession they would grab two offensive rebounds. They would attack on the offensive end. The ball moved, the players moved, there was cutting and motion, it was a thing of beauty. It was nothing like the three games the Wildcats had played against UCSD this year. There was a precision and rhythm to the Cats’ offensively that showed this team at their peak. To quote Norman Dale in the movie Hoosiers, “all pistons firing operating as one.”

Ellis was simply other-worldly. The Wildcat junior scored 19 of his game high 34 in the first half. The Tritons having watched Chico hit 25-of-50 from three-point range in the first two games of the regional were reluctant to double Ellis, out of fear of leaving the triumvirate of Wildcat shooters open, they paid the price.

Even after an 11-0 run by the Tritons sent their faithful into a frenzy, giving UCSD a 57-51 lead, Chico would counter with a 14-7 run of their own and this time it was more than Ellis. Corey Silverstrom would get hot taking top of the key and wing three’s to set it off. All the other pieces for the Cats played well including the other duo on the “core-fore” Jalen McFerren and Duncan. The beauty of Duncan’s play is he facilitated much of the Wildcat success. In past year’s Chico had to have Duncan score, but this year Duncan and Wildcats thrive when he facilitates ball movement and action. His talents necessitates constant attention. That attention opens things up for his mates and in the regional Duncan has never been better. McFerren took the slings and arrows from all teams to run the offense with continuity and flow. His 37-minute 1 turnover performance may be one of the more over-looked great games of the season for the Cats, but not by those of us that saw him play.

Everyone in uniform for Chico State played well against San Diego. In retrospect there just wasn’t a player who didn’t play well, that how championship teams are crowned.

With as well as the Wildcats played they still had to withstand an incredible shooting display by the Tritons. UCSD shot 14-of-26 from three-point range, making Chico State pay for their double-teams against sophomore post Chris Hansen. The complimentary pieces were tremendous for San Diego, but as CCAA-MVP Adam Klie said after the game, “we just couldn’t get stops. They (Chico) just played really well.”

Knocking off three conference champions in four days is not an easy task. When you do it, deep down you have to think all things are possible and that is the attitude the Chico State Wildcats bring to Sioux Falls. The Cats finished in a tie for third in the CCAA, got knocked out in the semis of the CCAA Conference Tournament but their championship pedigree is undeniable.

This Chico State core pushed themselves to heightened levels of exhaustion just to win a CCAA regular season title in 2016. They would never win another game the night after they clinched. They expended so much energy to win that regular season title, they had nothing left.

There was a conscious effort as many Wildcats professed to me in October to perform and win in the NCAA Tournament. The conference accolades and rewards were nice, but the NCAA Tournament riches are better. This team knew this, and their experience in losing in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years lit a flame that, at times dimmed slightly, but never extinguished.

They are peaking. They are hungry. And, they don’t feel like they are anywhere near finished.

Chico State shut down at tourney opener in Houston

 

*Photo courtesy of Skip Reager and Chico State Athletics*

The Chico State Wildcats were shut down in their first game at the Houston Invitational at Minute Maid Park in Houston.

Wildcat starter Hunter Haworth pitched a gem through six but ran into trouble in the 7th surrendering 4 earned runs. Haworth was dominant at times striking out 10 and holding the Texas A&M Kingsville Javelinas to two hits through six. The Javelinas would load the bases against Haworth in the 7th and after throwing 5-straight balls he grooved a 1-0 pitch to Travis Geiser who hammered a three-run triple into the right-center field gap. The Javelinas would score Geiser from third capping their four-run outburst.

Chico would get on the board in the 9th when Wildcat pinch-hitter Brian Pozos tripled to deep left-center and scored on an RBI ground out by Cameron Santos.

Chico State will play St. Mary’s from Texas today with the start time between 3:30 and 4pm. St. Mary’s lost on Friday 9-6 to Tarleton State.

Chico Sweeps Simpson; Dubs done in by three ball

The Chico State Wildcats baseball team finished off a four-game sweep of the Simpson University Red Hawks on Monday with convincing wins of 7-1 and 11-0.

Chico’s pitching was stellar all weekend, but particularly good on Monday with Casey Costello tossing five innings of 1-hit shut-out baseball in the first game of the double-dip. Cam Greenough dominated the Red Hawks in the night-cap tossing five innings and striking out 12.

The Wildcats (6-2) outscored Simpson 32-2 in the series and now get ready for The Houston Winter Invitational at Minute Maid Park in Houston. The Wildcats will play Texas A&M-Kingsville on Friday afternoon at 12 noon PST with our pre-game coming your way at 11:40am. Saturday the Cats take on St. Mary’s from Texas with first pitch slated for 4pm. Both of these games can be exclusively heard on the KpaySports app, right here on KpaySports.com and ChicoWildcats.com.

The series finale against the host institution, Central Missouri State will be on Sunday morning at 7:40am and can be heard on the app, website and AM-1290 KPAY.

(AP) — Nikola Jokic got his second career triple-double and the Denver Nuggets tied an NBA record with 24 3-pointers while shocking the Golden State Warriors 132-110 on Monday night.

The Nuggets tied the 3-point mark set by the Rockets in December against New Orleans. They missed two 3-pointers in the final minute, and Jamal Murray passed up an uncontested 3 to dribble out the clock. They finished 24 of 40 from beyond the arc.

The Warriors were just 8 of 32 from long range, including 1 of 11 by Stephen Curry.

Jokic set career highs in rebounds (21) and assists (12) to go with 17 points, and rookie Juancho Hernangomez scored a season-high 27 points, including six 3s. Will Barton added 24 points and Jameer Nelson had 23.

(AP) — A person briefed on the discussions tells The Associated Press that Madison Square Garden has lifted its ban of Charles Oakley.

The person who spoke to the AP on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the discussions were to remain private says the former Knicks star who was arrested at a game last week is welcome back at the arena.

Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan banned Oakley on Friday, two days after the former power forward had an altercation with security guards while attending a game.

But the sides reconciled quickly, helped by a meeting Monday at NBA headquarters with Commissioner Adam Silver and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan. Jordan and Oakley were teammates in Chicago before Oakley was traded to New York, where he became a fan favorite with the Knicks from 1988-98.

(AP) — Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love will be out at least six weeks following knee surgery.

Love had the operation on his left knee Tuesday in New York. The Cavs said he will be sidelined approximately six weeks, which would have him returning by April 1. The playoffs start later that month.

The 28-year-old had complained of soreness and had swelling in his knee following Saturday’s win over Denver. Love is averaging 20 points and 11.1 rebounds for the defending NBA champions, who are in Minnesota to play their second-to-last game before the All-Star break.

Love, who recently missed some games with back spasms, has been having his best season with Cleveland. Following two seasons of drama and trade rumors, he has blended in with stars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving.

Love’s absence will put further stress on Cleveland’s depth and could force general manager David Griffin to make a major move before the Feb. 23 trading deadline.

(AP) — San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan has added three new members of his coaching staff.

Shanahan announced Monday that Mike McDaniel will be the team’s new run game specialist, Mike LaFleur will be wide receivers coach and Taylor Embree will be offensive quality control coach.

McDaniel and LaFleur both worked in Atlanta with Shanahan when he was offensive coordinator for the Falcons.

Embree is the son of 49ers assistant head coach and tight ends coach Jon Embree.

 

Raiders and 49ers fall; Giants sputter against Birds

(AP) — Cam Newton threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns, and the Carolina Panthers overcame four turnovers to beat the San Francisco 49ers 46-27 Sunday in their home opener.

Newton threw two TD passes to Kelvin Benjamin and one each to Greg Olsen and Devin Funchess to pass Jake Delhomme for most TD passes in franchise history with 122.

Blaine Gabbert threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score in the loss. Gabbert pulled the 49ers within 34-27 late with a 75-yard touchdown pass to Vance McDonald, but threw two interceptions in the game’s final five minutes.

Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson scored his first career touchdown when he scooped up Carlos Hyde’s fumble and returned it 9 yards to give Carolina a 7-3 lead.

(AP) — Justin Hardy caught a deflected 8-yard touchdown pass to break a tie midway through the fourth quarter and the Atlanta Falcons held on to beat the Oakland Raiders 35-28 Sunday.

Matt Ryan threw three TD passes, but got a little lucky on the go-ahead one in the fourth quarter. His third-down throw to Tevin Coleman was broken up, but the ball bounced high in the air and Hardy caught it in the end zone to put Atlanta (1-1) up 28-21.

The Raiders (1-1) appeared to have tied the game on the next drive when Amari Cooper caught a 51-yard touchdown pass from Derek Carr.

But officials ruled Cooper went out of bounds voluntarily before making the catch, although the Raiders contended he was pushed by Desmond Trufant.

Oakland coach Jack Del Rio then decided to go for it on fourth-and-2, but Jalen Richard was stopped on a 1-yard gain.

(AP) — Commissioner Roger Goodell says there is “still a lot of work to be done” before the NFL considers Las Vegas as a possible destination for a franchise.

Goodell spoke before the Minnesota Vikings hosted the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night, three days after a Nevada oversight committee voted to recommend spending $750 million in public money on an NFL stadium. The project is being discussed to lure the Raiders away from Oakland.

Goodell says it is ultimately up to the owners to decide if Las Vegas is a viable city to host the NFL. He says he is still evaluating whether having a team play in a casino-filled city is a good idea.

As for Oakland, Goodell says “I think there’s a solution, but it takes the community to help identify it.”

(AP) — Alex Reyes pitched seven dominant innings in his third major league start, fellow rookie Aledmys Diaz hit a two-run homer and the St. Louis Cardinals moved up in the tight NL wild-card race, blanking the San Francisco Giants 3-0 on Sunday.

The Giants dropped one game behind the New York Mets for the top wild-card spot. The Cardinals closed within one game of San Francisco.

St. Louis split this four-game series, winning the final two. The Giants finished up a 2-5 homestand, and have won just one series at AT&T Park since the All-Star break.

Reyes (3-1), considered one of the majors’ best pitching prospects, hasn’t disappointed since he was called up from the minors on Aug. 9 when Michael Wacha went on the disabled list with shoulder discomfort.

Reyes gave up four hits, striking out six with two walks. Seung Hwan Oh pitched a scoreless ninth for his 18th save.

Diaz hit his 16th homer, a two-run drive in the third off Albert Suarez (3-4). The Giants and the first-place Dodgers open a three-game series at Dodger Stadium tonight. Los Angeles leads the NL West by 5 games over the Giants with 13 games left to play.

AP) — Khris Davis homered twice, giving him 40 for the season, and the Oakland Athletics beat Texas 5-2 on Sunday to keep the Rangers from moving closer to the AL West title.

Davis is the first A’s player to hit 40 homers since Jason Giambi had 43 in 2000. Davis has 10 homers in 15 games against the Rangers.

With two weeks left in the regular season, the magic number for the AL-leading Rangers (88-62) to clinch the division title remained at five games. Seattle and Houston, who were playing against each other Sunday, started the day tied for second in the AL West.

While already guaranteed consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 2007-09, the A’s (66-83) won two of three in Texas to wrap up a 6-1 road trip in which they scored 65 runs.

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL SCORES 

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The 13th ranked Chico State (4-2-1, 0-2) women’s soccer team suffered a couple of tough losses to open CCAA play falling to San Francisco State 2-1 on Friday and 1-0 to Monterey Bay on Sunday.

The Chico State (1-3-2, 0-1-1) men’s soccer team lost 1-0 to San Francisco State on Friday as the Gators scored a goal with only 26 seconds left to upend the Cats. Chico and Monterey played to a scoreless draw on Sunday.

The Chico State volleyball team rolled to a couple of victories at home this weekend sweeping both Cal State East Bay and Monterey Bay. The Wildcats now sit at 8-3 overall and 2-0 in the CCAA

The Butte College Roadrunners moves to 2-1 with a 20-10 win over Chabot on Saturday night. Quarterback and Chico High product Clayton Welch ran for two scores in the first half and threw a 25-yard toss to CJ Walker in the 3rd quarter. Butte’s defense held Chabot to only 80 yards rushing.

The Roadrunners are home this weekend hosting San Mateo at 1pm.

2012 Chico State Basketball Regional Montage

 

Kpay Sports will celebrate some exciting sports moments we have covered through the years with some musical montages that we created in our coverage of Chico State athletics. This montage celebrates the 2012 Chico State men’s basketball team as they won the CCAA regular season championship and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in seven years

Picture courtesy of Chico State athletics. Visit them at http://www.chicowildcats.com/

Chico advances to regional with gutty CCAA Tourney title; Dubs open conference finals

CHICO STATE WILL BE TRYING TO WIN THEIR 10TH WEST REGION TITLE IN THE SCHOOL’S HISTORY

An amazing four days of baseball resulted in a 15th NCAA West Region appearance in 21 years for the Chico State baseball team. The Wildcats went 4-1 over the four day tournament including 3 wins in a 36 hour period where they played some of their best baseball of the season

May 11     Chico beats Pomona 6-2

May 12     UCSD beats Chico 7-6

May 13     Chico beats Monterey Bay 4-2

May 13     Chico beats East Bay 4-2

May 14     Chico beats East Bay 10-9 (CCAA CHAMPIONSHIP GAME)

By capturing the CCAA Tournament title the Wildcats notch the automatic qualifier to the NCAA West Regional. They will open regional play against Pomona on Thursday at 7pm. You can hear all of the Chico State games on the Kpay Sports app that you can download for free in the app store. And also right here on KpaySports.com.

(AP) — The opening game of the NBA’s Western Conference final is this evening in Oakland, California, as defending league champion Golden State plays host to Oklahoma City. The Warriors advanced by eliminating the Blazers in five games while it took the Thunder six games to get rid of San Antonio.

During regular season play the Warriors won all three games played with the Thunder.

This series has its share of marquee players with Stephen (STEH’-fehn) Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green for the Warriors against Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook for the Thunder.

Game 2 in the best of seven series will be Wednesday in Oakland before the series shifts to Oklahoma City for Games 3 and 4.

The winner of this series will face the winner of the Cleveland-Toronto Eastern Conference final in the NBA Finals, which starts play tomorrow night in Cleveland.

(AP) — Brian Elliott had another standout game in net, David Backes and Jori Lehtera had goals and the St. Louis Blues opened their first Western Conference final in 15 years with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks Sunday night.

Tomas Hertl scored on a first-period deflection for the Sharks, who outshot St. Louis 32-23 but couldn’t quite solve Elliott.

The Sharks were the best road team in the NHL in the regular season at 28-10-3, but have dropped four in a row on the road in these playoffs, including all three in the second round against Nashville. They had seven goals in three road losses to the Predators and were 0 for 3 on the power play, which had been a major plus. San Jose had been converting on 33 percent of its power plays in the postseason.

Game 2 is on Tuesday night.

AP) — Danny Valencia hit three home runs, including a two-run shot in the ninth inning that lifted the Oakland Athletics to a 7-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday.

Valencia’s final homer — his fifth of the season, all in the three-game weekend series — came on the first pitch from Steve Geltz (0-2), Tampa Bay’s fifth pitcher.

John Axford (3-1) pitched an inning for the win and Ryan Madson got three outs on four pitches for his 10th save.

Brandon Guyer went deep twice for the Rays in a game that featured seven home runs.

(AP) — Manager Bruce Bochy successfully challenged to get a game-ending double play after Brandon Crawford singled in a run in the ninth inning and the San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Sunday to complete a four-game sweep.

Bochy challenged that Rickie Weeks was safe at first base on what turned out to be a 4-6-3 double play. If the call had stood, the tying run would have scored from third. It was San Francisco’s fourth double play of the game.

Santiago Casilla escaped the trouble for his ninth save.

The Giants had just one hit — Trevor Brown’s home run — through eight innings. But they opened the ninth with three singles off Brad Ziegler (1-2).

Hunter Strickland (2-0) pitched a scoreless inning to get the victory.

Chico State opens 8-game roadie versus the Gators LISTEN LIVE HERE !

The Chico State Wildcats open a four game series and an 8-game road trip in San Francisco today against the San Francisco State Gators. You can hear today’s game on this page by clicking the LISTEN LIVE icon on this page or the STREAMING banner to the left.

Chico comes in 28-14 on the season and is clinging to a one game lead in the North Division of the CCAA over Monterey Bay. The Cats are 1.5 games clear of Cal State East Bay and 3.5 clear of Sonoma State. Chico’s magic number to clinch a spot in the post-season is FIVE. Any combination of Chico wins and Sonoma losses totaling five clinches a spot in the CCAA Conference Tournament for Chico.

We are on the at 2:35pm with our pre-game with first pitch at 3pm.

Saturday’s double-header can also be heard here at 12 noon with pre-game at 11:45am. Sunday’s series finale is also at 12 noon with pre-game at 11:45am.

*PHOTO COURTESY OF CHICO STATE ATHLETICS VISIT THEM AT http://www.chicowildcats.com

 

Warriors win; Curry to have MRI on Monday morning

The Golden State Warriors have taken a commanding three-games-to-one lead in their quarterfinal NBA Playoff series versus the Houston Rockets but all the talk after the game was about a player who only scored six points.

The Warriors 121-94 win was dampened by an apparent knee injury to Steph Curry on the final play of the first half. Curry slipped on a wet spot on the floor and had his knee lock and twist as time expired in the second stanza. He tried to play in the third quarter but thought better of it after testing the knee at halftime.

The Warriors blew the game wide open in the 3rd with a 41 point quarter, with Draymond Green and Klay Thompson combining to hit seven three’s in the quarter.

The Warriors can close out the series on Wednesday at The Oracle in Oakland. Curry will undergo an MRI today in the Bay Area to determine the extent of his knee injury.

The San Francisco Giants let a chance to sweep the Miami Marlins slip by the boards as they wasted a bases loaded no out chance in the bottom of the 8th. The Marlins would emerge victorious with a 5-4 win. The Giants are now 2-5 on their current 10-game home stand.

The Oakland A’s dropped their series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. Despite solo home runs by Chris Coghlan, Khris Davis and Josh Reddick the A’s fell 6-3. After winning their first seven game away from home the A’s have dropped two in a row.

The Chico State Wildcat baseball and softball teams wrapped up the home portions of the regular seasons with impressive series wins over Sonoma and San Francisco State, respectively.

The Wildcat baseball team got a stellar performance from Dalton Erb who twirled a three-hit shut out striking out 11 in Chico’s 6-0 win over Sonoma. The Cats took three out of four from the Seawolves and moved into first place in the CCAA, one game clear of Monterey Bay and 1.5 games clear of East Bay.

The Wildcat softball team took three of four from the Gators and now ready themselves for the CCAA Softball Championship Tourney. The Wildcats finish the regular season with a 36-12 record and now play Sonoma at the conference tourney later this week.

 

Chico State takes on East Bay for THREE on Tuesday

The toughest road trip of the year for Chico State wraps up with at least 16 innings of baseball on Tuesday. The Wildcats will finish a suspended game from March 4th  and then play two rescheduled games in Hayward on the campus of Cal State East Bay. Chico and East Bay will pick up the action at 10am with East Bay leading Chico State 5-4 in the bottom of the 8th inning. After a short break the teams will play the rescheduled double-header

Hit the LISTEN LIVE tab at the top of the page  or the CLICK HERE tab on the sidebar to listen to a full day of baseball beginning at 9:45am. First pitch at 10am