Sonoma State University baseball got swept by rival Chico State University in walk-off fashion 7-6. The Chico State Wildcats came out fast scoring two runs in the first, putting lots of pressure on Sonoma State.
The Seawolves had lost the first three games of the series, and with their playoff hopes hanging by a thread they looked to salvage the final game of the series. “Chico’s offense was timely and they did a really good job this weekend,” first baseman and senior Kory Brown said.
The Seawolves lost some heartbreakers over the weekend, losing all four games by a combined eight runs. A couple plays changed the outcome of the game and the Seawolves look to improve on those, “Every time we made a mistake, Chico made us pay,” Brown said.
Mistakes often come back to haunt you in baseball and today was no different. “The biggest improvement we can make for the next series is to play better defense for our pitchers,” Brown said. Chico State’s left fielder Cody Wissler seemed to capitalize on all of Sonoma’s mistake recording five hits, driving in a run, and scoring twice.
Even after losing seven straight the Seawolves feel they can flip the switch and get back to their winning ways. “Our team has been so resilient all year long,” Brown said. This game was a microcosm of the whole season as the Seawolves fought back multiple times, but fell a little short. They were down three in the sixth and tied it there and were down two in the ninth and tied then, too. “When we got two in the ninth it was a testament to the resilient team we have,” Brown said.
If the season ended today the Seawolves would not be in the playoffs, but there are still a few regular season games left to do some damage. Either way, this can be a stepping stone to success in future years. “The cards didn’t go our way, but I am proud of every one of our guys,” Brown said.
Improving on the little aspects of the game could propel the Seawolves into some more wins. Chico State capitalized on errors made by the Seawolves, but the Seawolves did not. In the first inning, the second batter of the game reached on an error. The Seawolves could not capitalize as the next two hitters struck out.
Sonoma State also stranded 10 men on base, which is not terrible for a nine-inning game but is something they can improve on. “We set ourselves up well, but we just could not execute as much as we wanted to today,” James Harwell said. With stranding 10 men on base the Seawolves still scored six runs.
The Sonoma State players simply feel they deserved to win the series. “Chico wasn’t a better team but they outplayed us this weekend,” Harwell said. That is a bold statement, but the Seawolves truly believe it.
The toughest part now for the Seawolf players is their fate is not up to them. They have to hope for other teams to lose along with them winning out. “Now we just have to hope things work out where other teams lose and we can slide into the playoffs,” Harwell said. By the end of next week, Sonoma State will know their fate. “For next series we can just not get comfortable with any lead because the game can change at any moment,” Zac Gaurdino said.