Otter Baseball wins CCAA, heads to NCAA Division II Championships

Baseball Championships

Nico Hartojo celebrates his game-winning, walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth inning against San Francisco State in the Otters' opening game of the CCAA Championships. | Photo by Will G. MacNeil

May 14, 2024

Cal State Monterey Bay is in the midst of NCAA playoff fever, with its baseball and men’s golf teams heading to post-season play.

For the second year running, the Otter baseball team not only finished first in California Collegiate Athletic Association season play, but it also took home the title from the CCAA Championship Tournament. It marked the first time a team had won both titles back-to-back since Chico State did it in 2016 and 2017.

In fact, CSUMB has won the season title four of the last five years, making the  baseball team a powerhouse in the CCAA. 

Athletic Director Kirby Garry credited head coach Walt White for the team’s achievements.

“The success of our baseball program is a function of coach White’s persistent work ethic, vision and confidence in his approach to recruiting, coaching and developing strong teams,” Garry said. 

For a moment, it looked like the Otters’ winning ways might falter this year. In the championship game on Saturday, May 11, CSUMB found itself down to its last out, trailing San Francisco State, 9-7. But in a rousing comeback, the next three Otter batters hit scoring singles and turned the game around, winning 12-9. 

CSUMB will host NCAA Division II Western Regional play starting Thursday, May 16. The Otters face the loser of the game between Northwest Nazarene and San Francisco State in a 6 p.m. game. 

Garry said the team’s success is not only good for the sports program but also good for the university.

“There is local, regional and national impact when our teams achieve success and win championships,” he said. “Winning conference championships and competing in NCAA tournaments absolutely generates more awareness and shines a brighter spotlight on Cal State Monterey Bay.”

Information on the upcoming games and tickets is at the tournament webpage

Baseball is not alone in its success.  Men's golf qualified for the NCAA Division II National Championship Tournament with a fifth-place finish at the NCAA West/South Central Regional Saturday at the New Mexico State University Golf Course. This, after also winning the CCAA Championship.

CSUMB out-paced Colorado Mesa by seven strokes in the final round to move up from sixth place and claim the final berth. The Otters will head to the 20-team national championship tournament for the eighth time in 13 seasons and the first time since they finished fifth in 2019. The Otters won the NCAA Division II title in 2011.

Tournament play is May 21–25 at the Orange County National Golf Club in Winter Garden, Florida.