Sonoma, Chico State to clash

What is a sporting event without a little rivalry? There’s the Giants vs. the Dodgers, the Lakers vs. the Celtics, and then there’s Sonoma State vs. Chico State. The two CSU teams have been going at it for decades, often making it the game to watch. Whether it is basketball, volleyball or soccer, the competition between the Sonoma State Seawolves and the Chico State Wildcats sure brings in a crowd. But no rivalry is quite as big as the one on the diamond: spring baseball. 

The two teams are taking the grudge match all the way to the capital for the third annual Capital City Clash. The finale of this season’s Seawolves vs. Wildcats baseball series will be played at Raley Field in Sacramento, May 4 at 1 p.m. Raley Field is currently home of the Triple-A team, the Sacramento River Cats, affiliates of the Oakland A’s. 

Both teams have been battling to take home this title all season. During last year’s Capital City Clash, the Seawolves played big and swept the Wildcats in the four-game series for the first time since 1993. George Asmus gave an all-star performance on the mound, helping the Seawolves take home the 5-0 win in the last game of the series last April. 

Since 2005, both teams have had their share of victories in the series, Sonoma State winning 24 of the last 43 games and Chico State taking the other 19. The teams have played each other 20 times in either the California Collegiate Athletic Association or the National Collegiate Athletic Association Tournament and are surely regular rivals in the post season as well. Between the two teams, they have won eight of the 15 conference championships since 1999, Seawolves with five and Wildcats with three.

This season the Wildcats currently lead the pack in conference standings with 24 wins and seven losses (33-8 overall) with the Seawolves right on their tail with 18 wins and six losses (21-10 overall) followed by UC San Diego (23-9), Cal Poly Pomona (22-10) and Cal State East Bay (17-15). Both front-runners home and away game records show that familiarity with the field doesn’t make much of a difference. Chico State stands at 21-4 home and 12-4 away while Sonoma State holds 12-6 home and 9-6 away. 

The two teams are familiar with Sacramento’s Raley Field and how it feels to play on the diamond for the title.  It will be up to this season’s team newcomers, as well as the veterans, to push each other to battle for the win. Like it does every year, the Capital City Clash is expected to bring in yet another big crowd with loyal and excited fans from both teams.