POSTSEASON IS HERE AS CHICO STATE GEARS UP
FOR BIGGEST GAMES OF THE YEAR
The Chico State Wildcat baseball team will host Cal State Dominguez Hills on Wednesday afternoon in what is, in essence a play-in game in the opening round of the CCAA Tournament.
This new format is single elimination in the first round with Chico hosting the Toros at 3pm (2:45pm pre-game on KpaySports 1290 and the KpaySports app) with the night-cap pitting 4th-seed Sonoma State against Cal State San Bernardino.
The winner of the Chico and Dominguez match-up will take on Cal Poly Pomona on Thursday at 3pm. The winner of the Sonoma and San Bernardino game will play the top-seed and regular season champion Monterey Bay at 11am tomorrow morning.
Chico State comes into the conference tourney winners of five-in-a-row after a 5-game losing skid. The Wildcats have one of the most potent offenses they have ever assembled with a team batting average of .344 and on-base percentage of .444, the best numbers in the CCAA. The Wildcats have uncharacteristically struggled defensively this year and come into the tournament with the worst fielding percentage in the field.
The Wildcats and Toros split their four-game series at Nettleton Stadium a month ago with the Wildcats salvaging a split with a thrilling 14-11 walk-off win after scoring six runs in the 9th capped off by a Jacob Jablonski three-run blast to center.
Chico feels they are in a good position to punch their ticket next week to the West Regional Tournament, but a loss on Wednesday to the Toros would leave their fate up to a regional committee and to other West Region conference tournaments, hoping there aren't huge upsets. You can watch all the CCAA Tournament games on the CCAA Network with KpaySports Mike Baca calling the play-by-play for every game.
WILDCAT SOFTBALL OPENS REGIONAL PLAY ON THURSDAY
For the sixth straight year the Chico State Softball team has advanced to the West Regional. The Cats look to make a run through the tournament and give themselvels a chance to play for a National Championship in Denver, Colorado. The sub-regional pits the Wildcats versus Dominguez Hills. Chico split their regular season series versus the Toros, but was eliminated the CCAA Tournament last week by Dominguez in a 6-5 loss.
The other teams on Chico's side of the eight-team regional bracket are Concordia and Azusa Pacific. Chico suffered narrow losses against both teams this year. The Wildcats at 36-15 are making their 9th trip to the Regional since Angel Shamblin took over the program in 2010. You can follow all the action on the Chico State Athletics website which will provide links to live stats and live video of the games.
GIANTS POUND ROCKIES
(AP) — Alex Wood pitched into the sixth inning and didn’t allow an earned run, Brandon Belt had an RBI double in his return to the lineup and the San Francisco Giants won their ninth straight against the Colorado Rockies, 9-2 on Tuesday night.
Curt Casali added three hits and two RBIs for San Francisco, which has won four straight since losing five in a row.
“Promising last couple of games,” Giants manager Gabe Kapler said. “You can see how valuable it is to have very competitive at-bats at the bottom of the lineup to turn the lineup over.”
Wood (3-2) lost his previous two starts. He got into jam in the first inning before getting Elias Díaz to strike out looking, and the left-hander also fanned Garrett Hampson looking to end the fourth with a runner on second after the Rockies scored an unearned run.
Wood allowed seven hits and struck out four in 5 1/3 innings while throwing 104 pitches – more than he threw in any game last season.
“It felt really good to hit that mark,” Wood said. “My slider is usually a good groundball pitch for me typically and to be heater dominant and changeup dominant and have that many groundball outs and not allow extra-base hits was really nice.”
A'S AND TIGERS SPLIT ODD DOUBLE-DIP
Tarik Skubal was planning to head to the mound for the day’s first pitch. Then he realized the Detroit Tigers were the visiting team at Comerica Park and Oakland’s Frankie Montas would be on the rubber.
“Thank God someone mentioned it before the game, because I almost ran out there for the top of the first inning,” Skubal said. “Montas and I would have both been on the mound. It was weird, but that’s baseball.”
Skubal led the Tigers to a 6-0 win in the opener of a unique doubleheader Tuesday caused by Major League Baseball’s lockout. With the Athletics as the visiting team in the second game, 25-year-old Adrian Martinez pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings to win his major league debut, a 4-1 Oakland victory.
In a matchup of last-place teams, Detroit ended a 27-inning scoreless streak in the opener. Oakland (12-19) then won for the second time in 12 games and sent the Tigers (9-21) to their seventh loss in eight games.
Miguel Cabrera singled in the ninth inning of the second game, tying Wade Boggs for 30th with 3,010 hits.
Skubal (2-2) allowed three hits in seven innings, struck out five and walked three. Jonathan Schoop homered and scored twice on a day he raised his batting average from .139 to .157.
“It felt good to win,” Skubal said. “Their guy was really good, so I was just trying to give us a chance to stay in the game and get some late offense.”
Under MLB’s original schedule announced last year, Detroit was to have played three games at Oakland from April 4-6 in its second series of the season. But the first week was postponed by the lockout, and MLB rescheduled one of the games as part of a doubleheader at Comerica Park while keeping Oakland as the home team. The other games are to be played as a doubleheader at the Oakland Coliseum on July 21, what was to have been an off-day during the All-Star break.
Detroit wore its white home uniforms despite batting first, while the A’s wore green tops and gray pants. The Tigers reverted to the home team in the second game.
In the first game, Montas (2-3) allowed four runs, six hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings.
A’s shortstop Elvis Andrus and left fielder Chad Pinder collided in the fifth while trying for Willi Castro’s shallow fly ball. Both players required attention from athletic trainers and remained in the game.
“It’s scary when you are running out there, because you have the worst-case scenario running through your head,” Kotsay said. “Luckily, Elvis’ shin — the one that hasn’t needed surgery — just grazed Chad’s temple. Our trainers took every precaution, and Chad passed all the concussion tests.”
Castro reached on the single to put runners on first and second with no outs, and Tucker Barnhart’s bunt single loaded the bases. Derek Hill’s sacrifice fly ended Detroit’s scoreless streak, and Robbie Grossman beat out a potential double-play grounder as Castro scored.
Schoop homered to make it 3-0 in the sixth, and Jeimer Candelario hit a three-run double in the seventh off Kirby Snead.
“I thought I was pretty good, to be honest,” Montas said. “That’s still a lineup of major league hitters. No bad hitters get to this level.”
In the second game, Alex Faedo (0-1) gave up two runs and four hits over five innings in his second major leage start. Jed Lowrie hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth and Kevin Smith had an RBI single. Cristian Pache added an RBI single in the seventh and Luis Barrera a sacrifice fly in the ninth.
Martinez (1-0) struck out Javy Baez in the first inning and retired Cabera in the second.
“I knew I was in the big leagues when I was facing players like that,” Martinez said through a translator. “You know they are in the lineup, but it is different when they are in the batter’s box.”
Martinez struck out three and walked none.
“That was just a great performance by Adrian,” A’s manager Mark Kotsay said. “He comes up here for his first major league start and attacks the zone right away. That’s what you want to see from a kid.”
Detroit loaded the bases with one out in the ninth against Lou Trivino . Eric Haase struck out, Robbie Grossman forced in a run with a walk and Austin Meadows popped out.
“We need today to be encouraging and we’re going to make it encouraging,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “We had a really good first game and we gave ourselves a chance in the second one. We can’t ask for much more than that.”
You can listen to the Tigers and A's game on DELAY tonight at 11pm on KpaySports 1290 and 102.9 FM
WARRIORS LOOK TO OUST MEMPHIS AND MOVE ON TO WESTERN CONFERENCE FINALS
Memphis’ chances of staving off elimination are even tougher now.
The Golden State Warriors put the Grizzlies on the brink of the offseason after they rallied late in Game 4 on Monday night to grab a 3-1 series lead as Memphis star Ja Morant sat out with a sore right knee.
Morant is doubtful for the remainder of the postseason after an MRI and further evaluation revealed a bone bruise on his injured knee, the team announced Tuesday night. The NBA’s Most Improved Player winner and All-Star guard had been averaging 38.3 points a game.
The Warriors now head to Memphis needing one victory to advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time since 2019 — when they lost in the NBA Finals before missing the last two postseasons.
That’s been a long wait for a franchise that won three championships in the last decade.
“Wednesday is going to be the hardest one yet,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. “It always is, the closeout. We have to put this behind us and put together a good game plan.”
Even without Morant, Memphis still led for all but 45.7 seconds of Game 4 before Golden State rallied for a 101-98 victory. It was the first time Memphis had been held under 100 points this postseason.
“We’re back home,” Grizzlies forward Jaren Jackson Jr. said. “We’ve got our fans. It’s going to be loud, so we’re excited to get back home and go play again, man. We have another chance to play. They’re a good team. We obviously know how the game went. Yeah, we get another chance at it.”
And that “it” is pushing this series back to San Francisco for Game 6 on Friday.
KPAYSPORTS 1290 and 102.9 FM will carry tonight's GAME 5 immediately after the conclusion of Chico State Playoff baseball at 6:45pm tonight.....