ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University baseball team earned a split with George Fox University on Saturday afternoon at Hart Park dropping the first game 3-2 in 12 innings, but rallying back to take the second game 4-3.
Game 1: George Fox 3, Chapman 2
A strong nine-inning performance by sophomore RHP Brian Rauh went for naught as the Panthers fell in extra innings. Rauh held the Bruins without a hit until the fourth and scoreless until the seventh while racking up a career-high 15 strikeouts. He retired the first 11 batters he faced before giving up his first hit to OF Timothy Williams in the fourth.
With the score knotted at 2-2, senior LHP Ben Levitt took over on the mound for the Panthers in the 10th and held the Bruins scoreless for two more innings. George Fox (3-8) scored the winning run on an RBI single by SS Taylor Hunter in the 12th.
Trailing Rauh and the Panthers by a run in the ninth, the Bruins loaded the bases with one out on two singles and a walk. Pinch-hitter Nick Benish hit a sacrifice fly to center to score Danny Clifford (2-for-5) and force the game into extra innings.
The Panthers got on the board early, pushing one across in the second on a solo home run off the bat of junior 3B Tyler Surnbrock, his first of the year. Chapman (5-4) got another run in the third thanks to back-to-back singles by sophomore C Charlie James and sophomore OF Adam Velez (2-for-4). James then scored on a double play ball to put the Panthers up 2-0.
Game 2: Chapman 4, George Fox 3
The Panther offense executed when it needed to in order to support starting junior RHP Travis McGee who threw a complete game, striking out seven Bruins. The Panthers snapped a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the seventh starting with Surnbrock roping a double down the left field line. Sophomore 2B Taber Watson immediately followed with an RBI single up the middle to score Surnbrock and put the Panthers up 4-3.
George Fox scored first in the second inning and the Panthers answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the same inning on an RBI single from senior OF James Parr (3-for-4) tying the game at 1-1.
Chapman pushed two more across in the fourth when senior DH Steve Greenberg ripped a double to right scoring Parr. Smart baserunning by senior OF Charlie Piro from third base allowed the Panthers to score once more in the inning on a run-producing groundout.
The Bruins responded in the sixth with two runs. Williams tripled into right to score Clifford, followed by an RBI single from 3B Zac Israel to tie the game at 3-3.
Chapman and George Fox will play the rubber match of the three-game series at noon on Sunday at Hart Park.
by Jessica Mitchell & Doug Aiken
Sports Information Intern & Sports Information Director