ORANGE, Calif. – All nine starters had a hit as the Chapman University baseball team slugged its way to a 13-9 win over visiting Pacific. The Panthers won their fourth in a row to improve to 19-9 on the year.
It didn't take long for either offense to get going with Pacific putting up three runs in the first and the Panthers responding with five. It was the first of two five-run innings on the day that led the Panthers to the win. Both teams sent their entire lineup to the plate in the eight-run first.
Three hits, a walk and a hit by pitch equaled three runs to open the game for the Boxers in the top of the first. Despite a tough inning, sophomore Tyler Peck struck out two and ended the threat with a strike out to end the inning.
Chapman did not waste any time in responding to Pacific's outburst. Back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases for junior Jared Love, who promptly smacked a double off the wall in left to bring in the Panthers' first run. The Panthers weren't close to done as the next three batters followed with RBI-hits. Junior Justin Stream hit a two-RBI single. Junior Conner Larkin doubled in Stream and sophomore Christian Cosby singled in Larkin.
Kurtis Kloke hit the first of his two homers on the day in the top of the second to tie the game at 5-5. He also hit a solo shot in the ninth. From there, the pitchers settled in for three scoreless innings on either side. Sophomore Mason Collins took over on the mound in the second and retired 10 of the last 12 batters he faced. He struck out three and allowed just one more hit after the homer.
Chapman woke the bats back up in the sixth for three more runs. Freshman Aaron Wong drove in one and the Panthers turned three passed balls in the inning to a pair of runs and an 8-5 lead. The long ball equalized the game again in the seventh. A three-run homer tied it back up at 8-8.
The Panthers top half of the order again sparked a five-run rally with five consecutive hits – four of which drove in at least a run. Sophomore Jarod Penniman gave the Panthers the lead with a double to score Wong and the Panthers kept adding insurance with run-scoring hits from senior Tyler Cook, Love and Stream. Stream finished with four RBIs on the day.
Freshman Austin Merrill picked up the win on the mound after pitching one and two-thirds scoreless innings, allowing just one hit.
Chapman will finish out the SCIAC season with three more series in a race to make the SCIAC Tournament. The Panthers are tied for third at 10-5 in SIAC play as the ready to take on Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in a three-game series next weekend. The Panthers host the Stags for two games on Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.
by Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director