ORANGE, Calif. – The starting pitching paved the way for the Chapman University baseball team's series sweep of Redlands. The No. 14 Panthers (15-5, 6-3 SCIAC) saw their two starters chew up 15 total innings on the mound, allowing just one earned run to complete the series sweep with wins of 4-1 and 7-2.
Game 1 – W, 4-1
There is something about the seventh inning in the Bulldog-Panther matchup. Last year, the Panthers had a comeback for the ages in the seventh inning of the SCIAC Tournament title game. Chapman scored five runs in the seventh inning yesterday at Redlands to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 lead and, eventually, an 8-5 win.
The theme of Lucky 7s continued into the first game of the doubleheader as Chapman scored all four of its runs in the seventh inning to set up the win and clinch the series.
The Bulldogs only run in the game came across on an error in the sixth. Redlands scattered 11 hits throughout the game, including nine off senior Tyler Peck, but did not hit one for extra bases. Peck allowed just singles to the Bulldogs' lineup and stranded eight runners on base in his seven inning outing. The only run came across the plate when junior Jarod Penniman made a spectacular diving stop up the middle but his throw to first skipped past freshman Miguel Cebedo.
The Panthers had managed just three singles off of Redlands' starter Andrew Reuter through six innings but junior Kevin Gregersen led off the seventh with a double to left field. Cebedo sacrificed him to third and was safe at first when the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag. With runners on the corners and no outs, Reuter balked on a fake pick off attempt to third to allow the tying run to cross the plate.
Peck picked up his second win with four strikeouts and a pair of walks. Sophomore Cody Turner tossed the final two innings, stranding four more Bulldog runners on base, to earn his second save.
Game 2 – W, 7-2
The second game started quick with both teams getting on board in the first. Aaron Singh walked, went all the way to third on a failed pickoff and scored on a single to give Redlands the lead. Chapman responded in the bottom half with RBI doubles from freshman Drew Littwin and sophomore Henry Zeisler to take a 2-1 lead.
Senior Mason Collins settled in on the mound and turned in another solid performance. He struck out 10 batters over eight innings of work while allowing just four hits and a walk. He retired seven in a row from the second through the fourth but found himself in a jam in the fifth.
With one outs and the bases loaded, Collins induced a slow bouncer to third to catch the runner at the plate and struck out the next batter to end the inning unscathed. He retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh but surrendered a run in the eighth on a double, single and sacrifice fly to make it 3-2. Anthony Acosta's one-out double was the only extra base hit of the day for Redlands.
Chapman padded its lead in the eighth with a four-run inning. Cebedo's sacrifice fly cashed in the first run with no outs. Freshman Brad Shimabuku singled in another run and Penniman brought in two more with a line drive up the middle against a drawn in infield.
Sophomore Nick Garcia overcame a single and a walk to start the ninth with back-to-back-to-back strikeouts to end the game. He threw three innings in the series and struck out the side twice.
The Panthers are back home on Tuesday at 7 p.m. to take on MIT before opening a SCIAC series against Occidental at home on Friday at 3 p.m.