Behind strong pitching and defense, Chico St. takes two from Azusa Pacific
CHICO, Calif. -- Behind strong pitching and sound defense, No. 8 Chico State swept Azusa Pacific on Thursday.
The Wildcats won the first game 6-2 behind starter Alex Mistuloff's four shutout innings and then won the nightcap 1-0 on the strength of Nick Baker's three-hit shutout.
Chico State improved to 3-1 with its third consecutive win, while Azusa Pacific fell to 2-2.
The Chico State pitching staff walked only three in 16 combined innings of work and the defense that coach Dave Taylor tells them to lean on played error-free baseball.
Mistuloff was the first of four pitchers to make his Chico State debut in the opener. He scattered five hits in four frames, striking out three, and didn't walk a batter. Sophomore Brad Lohse made his Wildcat introduction with two innings of relief, allowing just a single. Luke Barker needed only seven pitches to throw a 1-2-3 seventh, Jesse Silva made his first appearance in a Chico State uniform in the eighth, and then true freshman Clayton Gelfand closed the door in the ninth, striking out a pair.
Baker (1-0) cooked up his first career shutout in the second game. Baker, a senior, faced just three hitters passed the minimum for his 23rd career win -- fourth most in school history. He kept the ball down and got 13 ground-ball outs.
Catcher Peter Miller gave the Wildcats all the offense they needed in the second inning with an RBI double.
Catcher Jake Bailey had the big hit in the first game. His two-run single in the fourth was the first knock off hard-throwing Josh Staumont, who struck out five in four innings but had trouble with his control.
The Wildcats extended the lead in the sixth on two-run singles by Jeffrey Ortega and Ruben Padilla.