This year marks the debut of the CCAA Tournament at Scolinos Field. | Photo courtesy of CPP Athletics

Preview: CPP to host 2024 CCAA Baseball Tournament from May 8 to 11

By Jacob Rodriguez, May 7, 2024

For the first time since its inception in 1999, the California Collegiate Athletic Association 2024 Baseball Tournament will take place at Cal Poly Pomona, with the top six teams in the conference fighting for the championship title.

For the ninth consecutive season, the Broncos will be heading to the CCAA Tournament, making them among the six teams participating in the tournament.

The tournament, which will take place from Wednesday, May 8 to Saturday, May 11, will mark the first time the Broncos have played a postseason game at Scolinos Field since 1985.

“It’s a great opportunity for us,” said Alex Kline, assistant athletics director of communications. “We have one of the nicer fields in the conference, and it’s a great way for us to showcase our facility by having other teams come and be able to play on that surface and experience that atmosphere that we have.”

The six-team tournament features a single elimination game on day one, Wednesday, May 8, between the four lowest seeds. The top two seeds, on the other hand, receive a first-round bye. After two teams are eliminated on day one, the remaining four teams will be reseeded for a double-elimination tournament that will take place Thursday, May 9 through Saturday, May 11.

The Poly Post dove into all the teams competing in this year’s tournament to see how they got their shot at glory.

No. 1 seed: Cal State Monterey Bay

The defending CCAA champion, the Cal State Monterey Bay Otters, hope to repeat as champs as CPP did before them, but their road to clinching their playoff spot wasn’t easy.

The Otters began their season strong, winning 13 of their first 16 games throughout February and March. They dominated teams such as the Sonoma State Seawolves, the San Francisco State Gators, the Stanislaus State Warriors and CPP. It wasn’t until their fifth series against the Cal State San Marcos Cougars from March 22 to 24 that Monterey Bay finally lost a series.

The Otters consistently got wins throughout April as well, with just one more lost series in the latter half of the season. They finished the season with a five-game winning streak, taking first place in the regular season with a 27-13 conference record and earning a round-one bye.

No. 2 seed: Cal State San Marcos

Cal State San Marcos was the first team to clinch a playoff berth. as they waited to find out who their opponent would be, let alone where they would be placed.

The Cougars lost five of their first six games, marking a shaky start to their season. That would change, however, as the Cougars went on a tear from Feb. 25 to March 8, going on a nine-game winning streak.

Though their streak snapped at the hands of Cal State San Bernardino, it didn’t deter them. They eventually scored convincing wins over Monterey Bay, Sonoma State, San Francisco State, and CPP to clinch the second spot in the tournament and boast a 26-13 record.

This year marks San Marcos’ first ever trip to the conference championship since joining the CCAA in 2016. Despite making their debut, the Cougars will be able to join the Otters in skipping the opening round and heading straight to the quarterfinals.

No. 3 Seed: Cal Poly Pomona

The Broncos, who were knocked out in the CCAA semifinals last year, started their season with a bit of a rocky start. After splitting its conference-opening series against Chico State, the team went 3-5 in its next two series against the defending champions, Cal State Monterey Bay, and the Cal State East Bay Pioneers.

The Broncos eventually began to gain momentum from late March to early April, when they went on a six-game winning streak.

CPP continued to win throughout April and went on another six-game winning streak, clinching its playoff spot right before Cal State San Bernardino broke the winning-streak in the final series of the regular season. That loss left the Broncos with a 25-15 record, good enough for third place.

“It’s been a journey,” said head coach Randy Betten. “We started off slow a little bit, and then we picked up midway, and I think we’re playing our best baseball.”

CPP will look to keep their recent run going when the team faces sixth-seeded Sonoma State in the opening round at 1 p.m. Wednesday, May 8.

No. 4 seed: San Francisco State

The San Francisco State Gators, who were knocked out in the opening round of last year’s CCAA tournament, started their season with a solid start, winning six of their first eight games.

Throughout March, the Gators began to struggle against conference rivals CPP, Sonoma State, and Cal State East Bay, winning six out of 13 games from March 10 to March 29.

The struggles continued into April, as the Gators won five of their next 13 games, even going into a four-game losing streak against the Cougars.

However, the Gators turned around and won their final three games, securing the fourth spot in the CCAA tournament with a 21-18 record. They will face fifth-seeded Chico State in the opening round May 8.

No. 5 seed: Chico State

The Wildcats’ season started off rocky at first, as they split their first conference series against the Broncos. The team’s struggles continued into early March into a three-game losing streak against the Gators.

The Wildcats bounced back with a few winning streaks against Stanislaus State and Cal State LA, which began their rally. They won nine of their next 15 games from March 8 to March 29.

April saw the Wildcats go on several winning and losing streaks, and even into May, they lost their last three games against the Seawolves but still secured the fifth spot with a 19-20 record.

In this year’s tournament, Chico State will face the No. 4 seed, the San Francisco State Gators, in the opening round.

No. 6 seed: Sonoma State

The Sonoma State Seawolves, who have won five CCAA Tournament titles since 1999, struggled at the start of their season, kicking off the year with a three-game losing streak at the hand of the eventual No. 1 seed Otters, leaving them with a 1-3 conference record.

The struggles continued through early to mid-March as the Seawolves won six of their next 13 games, including close games against CPP and the Gators.

Through late March and into early April, the Seawolves continued to have ups and downs as they looked to stay alive in the race for the sixth spot in the tournament with notable wins against the Cougars.

Looking to keep their season alive, the Seawolves locked in and finished their final three games by defeating the Wildcats to secure the last spot in the tournament with a 19-21 record. They will face CPP in the opening round.

As the tournament looms, the CPP athletics department hopes it will be a fun and complete experience for not only all six teams but also the fans and community.

“Our goal is to put on a good fan environment,” said Kline. “Creating the experience that people enjoy when they go to the park, hang out with their families and watch good fun baseball, that’s really what we’re striving for just to put on a good competitive tournament for all the six teams that will be involved and that we’re able to create that fun environment that they’ll come back for the future.”

Feature image courtesy of CPP Athletic Department

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