ORANGE, Calif. – All good things must come to an end and such is the career unbeaten streak of two-time All-American Brian Rauh. The Chapman University junior RHP suffered his first loss in 25 career decisions as visiting Rutgers-Newark University (N.J.) shutout the Panthers 2-0 at Hart Park on Saturday night. Rauh falls to 2-1 this season and now 24-1 in his career.
Among more pressing concerns for the No. 21-ranked Chapman baseball team are its recent offensive struggles and mounting losses as the Panthers fell back below the .500 mark at 7-8 overall.
On Saturday night it was Rutgers' junior RHP Kyle Van Vliet who looked like the All-American, out-dueling Rauh to the tune of a complete-game, six-hit shutout and striking out 12 Panthers for good measure. In fact, Chapman had just two runners reach second base in the first six innings and didn't seriously threaten until the seventh and eighth innings when the Panthers got the leadoff man to third base with one out, but could not deliver a key hit.
On the other side Rauh turned in a typical performance worthy of a victory. The right-hander allowed just five hits and struck out 11 in seven innings of work, only struggling in the fifth inning when the Scarlet Raiders scored their only two runs of the game on one hit, a walk and two hit batters. Raiders' 2B Nelson Lopez delivered an RBI single in the inning, finishing 2-for-4 in the game for Rutgers-Newark (3-5).
Junior RHP Kevin Osaki pitched two perfect innings in relief of Rauh, striking out four of the six batters he faced, including striking out the side in order in the eighth.
For Chapman, sophomore 1B Mark Saatzer was 2-for-4 with a double.
After a 4-1 start, the Panthers are just 3-8 in their past 11 games and have scored two runs or less in six of those games. Chapman is also batting just .211 with runners in scoring position during that stretch.
Chapman will be back at it on Sunday night in the first of a two-game series with Ithaca College (N.Y.) at Hart Park at 7 p.m. The Panthers, who are 2-4 at Hart Park this season, will play 19 of their next 21 games at home.
by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director