Baseball drops heartbreaker to open SCIAC Tournament

Anthony DeNiro (photo by Larry Newman)
Anthony DeNiro (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University baseball team fell just short in the opening game of the SCIAC Tournament with a 5-4 loss to visiting Redlands. The game was tied heading into the ninth but the Bulldogs snuck away with the win.

With the game tied 4-4 in the ninth inning, a single and a walk put runners on first and second with two outs. A wild pitch moved Brenden Gardiner up to third. A passed ball on strike three went all the way to the backstop, allowing Gardiner to score from third for the go-ahead run.

The Panthers first run of the game also came home on a wild pitch, tying the game 1-1 at the time.

After getting a pop up to end the inning, sophomore Tristan Kevitch led off the bottom half with a single into left center. Sophomore Christian Cosby sacrificed him over to second but a strike out put the Panthers down to their last out. Sophomore Jarod Penniman smacked a line drive single into center. Kevitch rounded third but a strong throw from Christian Conci in center field beat him to the plate to end the game.

Sophomore Anthony DeNiro tied the game in the seventh with a single into right, scoring Kevitch to make it 4-4. The entire game went back and forth with the lead changing hands three times and the game tied twice.

Redlands took the initial lead with a run in the first but Chapman answered with a run after freshman Aaron Wong's leadoff double was cashed in on the wild pitch. Senior Tyler Cook hit a no-doubt two-run blast in the third to make it 3-1 Chapman. However, Bulldogs loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth and cashed in three runs to take a 4-3 lead.

Felix Minjarez went the distance for the Bulldogs, striking out seven and allowing 10 hits. Junior Joey Harmon made the start for the Panthers and gave way to sophomore Mason Collins in the sixth. Collins took the tough-luck loss, allowing just the one unearned run and three hits while striking out five.

The Panthers head to Cal Lutheran tomorrow for the early 8:30 a.m. game and will face fourth-seeded La Verne. The loser of the game drops out of the tournament but the winner will be again later on Saturday.

 

by Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director

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