CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The Chapman University baseball team kept their World Series hopes alive with an 8-4 victory over Washington and Jefferson in the first elimination game. The bullpen was clutch for the Panthers as sophomores Cody Turner and Nick Garcia combined for six innings pitched and kept Chapman in the game.
Turner entered in the fourth with bases loaded and no outs. The reliever gave up the tying run on a single to right field but got out of the inning on a pop-up double play and a fly out to left field to minimize the damage. That was the only hit that Turner allowed as he struck out three batters and allowed no more runs to score in four innings pitched. He earned his fifth win of the season after retiring the side in two of his four innings.
Garcia entered in the eighth and helped the Panthers preserve the lead, earning his 11th save of the season. The All-American retired six batters in a row in the final two innings to help Chapman continue play in the World Series.
The Panthers struck early in the game when an error from the Presidents' pitcher allowed freshman Brad Shimabuku to score from third. Washington and Jefferson answered right back, putting three runs on the board in the bottom of the second to take the lead.
Shimabuku knocked in a run in the top of the third to inch the Panthers back 3-2, followed by a clutch two-RBI double down the left field line in the top of the fourth from senior Alex Tsuruda to take a 4-3 lead.
The Presidents' bases-loaded RBI single would prove to be their final run scored of the game as Chapman put two runs on the board in the top of the sixth. With two on and two outs, junior Aaron Wong singled to left field to score one run and give the Panthers the lead. With Wong on base, Tsuruda singled to center field, putting a runner in scoring position. Shimabuku stepped up to the plate and knocked in his second RBI of the day on single to right field, giving the Panthers a 6-2 lead in the middle of the sixth.
A couple of quick half innings from Turner and Garcia brought the Panthers up on offense in the top of the ninth. Sophomore Henry Zeisler knocked in the first run of the inning on a single to right center. The sophomore moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from junior Joe Jimenez. Two batters later, Zeisler advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error in the same play, giving Chapman its final 8-4 lead.
Tsuruda and Shimabuku both tallied two RBIs on two hits in the effort. Zeisler continued his World Series hot streak, hitting 3-for-4 with an RBI and one run scored. Wong scored three times while hitting 1-for-2 with two walks and an RBI.
The Panthers head back out to the field to take on the University of Massachusetts Boston later this afternoon. First pitch is 4:30 p.m. CT in Chapman's second elimination game of the series.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant