Hilario Tovar worked into the eighth inning and combined with reliever Dan Beavers on a five-hitter as the Chico State baseball team shut out visiting UC San Diego to move within a game of a crucial series victory with a 7-0 victory Saturday afternoon at Nettleton Stadium.
However, the Wildcats could not nail down the series win, falling 11-2 in the second game.
They will get another chance Monday when the series concludes with a single game at 11 a.m.
Chico State is now 20-15 overall and 16-13 in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. UC San Diego is 20-12 overall and 16-11 in the CCAA. The Tritons enter Monday’s game in a tie for second place in the CCAA.
Tovar’s toughness was on full display as he worked out of a number of jams to improve to 4-4 on the season. The senior transfer from San Jose State combined with Beavers to keep the Tritons hitless in 13 at-bats with runners on base and shut them out for the first time since May 7, 2015.
In seven-and-a-third innings of work, Tovar allowed just four hits and walked three. He struck out a trio of hitters and induced double plays to end the first and fifth. Beavers retired the last five hitters, allowing a hit and a walk, getting a pair of double plays, and striking out the final hitter of the game.
Louie Canjura hit his first home run of the season and drove in three to pace Chico State’s offense. Dustin Miller and Kyle Blakeman also had three hits apiece and Tyler Stofiel a pair. With one out in the fourth, Miller and Stofiel singled in succession. Blakeman followed with an RBI single, and RJ Hassey drove in two more runs with a double inside the third-base bag. Canjura’s RBI single gave the Wildcats a four-run inning and 5-0 lead.
Miller, Stofiel and Blakeman all singled to start the second and scored on Hassey’s double-play grounder to stake Chico State to the lead.
Canjura’s two-run bomb to right in the eighth capped the scoring.
The Tritons flipped the script in the second game, scoring three runs in the first (after scoring just two over their first 18 innings of the series). They led 5-0 before Casey Henderson gave the Wildcats some life with a two-run homer over the left-field wall in the fifth.
But the Tritons put up crooked numbers in the sixth and seventh to put the game away.
Butte 13-9. Lassen 2-8 >> Connor Blair finished 3-for-5 with a double and three RBIs in game one as Butte swept a doubleheader on the road.
Tyler Stewart had a pair of hits and two RBIs, Isaiah Morales had two hits, a double and two RBIs and Demond Smith finished two hits and two RBIs in game one.
In the second game, Lane Pritchard homered and finished with three RBIs. Ryan Gamboa was 2-for-4, Kurtis Roberts added two RBIs and Morales had a triple.
Butte (19-12, 12-4 Golden Valley Conference) play Lassen at noon on Monday.
Butte 6-6, Shasta 0-7 >> The Roadrunners split the doubleheader at home. Jamie Engel, a Hamilton alumna, tossed a two-hit shutout in game one. Engel walked three and struck out seven to earn the win.
Monica Deadmond went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs, Baylie Fryar went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, Hailey Moore added a pair of hits and JoJo Kelly and Baylee Thayer each added a double.
In the second game, Shasta broke a 6-all tie in the top of the seventh inning, scoring one run.
Jenna Robicheau had four hits, Bailee Robichea added two hits and two RBIs while Rylie Loflin and Camryn Mayo each finished with two hits.
Butte (20-9, 9-3 Golden Valley Conference) hosts College of the Redwoods for a doubleheader at noon on Friday.