Pioneers split home double header with Chico State Wildcats


Photo by Kristiana Federe/The Pioneer

Marissa Marshall,

The hot weather on Tuesday was a factor that forced the Cal State East Bay baseball team to battle through two close games.

Before the home double header, the Pioneers were in Los Angeles over the weekend, where they swept the California State Dominguez Hills Toros (14-16 overall, 8-12 conference) three games to none, which sparked confidence in the team leading up to Tuesday.

The Pioneers’ confidence carried over and they managed to split games with the #22 ranked Chico State (23-9 overall, 13-7 conference). CSUEB lost the first game 15-13 and won the second 10-9, which puts the Pioneers at 18-13 overall and 9-11 in California Collegiate Athletic Association Conference games.

“We knew how good they were, and that we had to step up if wanted to win,” said junior outfielder Raymond Jones.

The first game against the Wildcats was a hitting fest as both teams combined for 39 hits and 28 runs in the contest. The Pioneers eventually lost 15-13, but there were some great performances in the losing effort. Chris Porter went 3-for-4 with a homerun and Jones also had a standout game going 4-for-5, as well as adding in 3 runs.

“I’ve just been seeing the ball and making adjustments throughout the week, which have helped me out on the field,” said Jones.

The second game was also a tough battle, but the Pioneers never stopped fighting. They trailed through 7 innings by as many as 5 runs. However, East Bay bounced back as Jones tripled to left center field, which allowed both senior outfielder Myles Babitt and junior infielder Zack Perugi to score, cutting the lead to only 1 run, with a score of 9-8 in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jones then scored moments later tying the game at 9-9.

With the game extended to 8 innings, Perugi singled to the right side in the bottom of the eighth, which led to a score by senior utility player Rudy Navarro, and gave CSUEB a 10-9 win in the second game.

“I felt comfortable, relaxed and confident when I went out to bat in the last inning,” said Perugi on his hit that put East Bay in front of Chico. “It was an all day battle, but we know how good we are and we never quit. We fell short in the first game, but made sure that did not happen again.”

The Pioneers will look to carry over the momentum when they face Cal State Los Angeles (7-23 overall, 6-13 conference) on Saturday at Pioneer Baseball Field on the Hayward campus. The two teams play a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. on Saturday.