Baseball takes doubleheader behind heavy hitting

Andrew Mendonca swings.
Andrew Mendonca (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University baseball team notched two victories in a doubleheader against the visiting Concordia of Wisconsin. The Panthers (8-4, 2-4 SCIAC) routed the Falcons (0-2, 0-0 NACC) 9-2 in game one and 13-5 in game two. Chapman tallied 26 total hits in their two victories today.

Game 1 – W, 9-2

The first game of the day picked up in the bottom of the third with runners on first and second and two outs. The Panthers had just tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the third when the game was called due to rain last night. Junior Trevor Willits was the first batter of the day. An error from the Falcons' first baseman allowed Willits to get on base and a run to score, putting Chapman up 3-2.

Freshman Nick Garcia and sophomore Aaron Wong each tallied an RBI in the bottom of the sixth inning as they both singled to bring in two runs and extend the Panthers' lead to 5-2.

Junior Andrew Mendonca started the bottom of the seventh by hitting a bomb to left field, tallying his first home run of the season and second of his career. With the bases loaded and one out, Garcia stepped up and hit another single to score senior Gavin Blodgett. Wong took a walk next, scoring senior Conner Larkin and making the score 8-2. Freshman Henry Zeisler took to the plate and singled to right center, scoring freshman Trevor Marrs and giving Chapman their final 7-point lead.

Junior Matt Mogollon was lights-out on the mound for 6.1 innings, throwing 10 strikeouts while only allowing five hits and two runs. Junior Mason Collins earned the save, allowing just one hit three innings.

Game 2 – W, 13-5

After going down 1-0 in the top of the first, the Panthers answered with heavy hitting and six runs in the bottom of the first. Chapman tallied five singles to load up the bases and get through the whole rotation. Junior Tristan Kevitch was the first to record an RBI in the inning after he singled through the right side and scored senior Justin Stream. Larkin stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and singled through the left side, scoring the runners on second and third. The final two RBIs of the inning are credited to Willits after he singled to left center and scored both Kevitch and Larkin.

The Panthers added three more runs in the second after Stream doubled in a run and a couple of sacrifice flies scored two runners. Zeisler was the first batter in the bottom of the third. The rookie reached first on an error and advanced to second on the error, putting a runner in scoring position for Blodgett. Blodgett stepped up and singled to right center, scoring Zeisler and earning his fourth RBI on the day.

Concordia scored a couple of runs in the fourth, followed by three more runs from Chapman in the fifth. The middle of the lineup was strong again for the Panthers in the fifth, as Kevitch and Larkin each recorded an RBI to extend Chapman's lead to 13-3 with four innings left to play.

The Falcons scored a run in the sixth after Freshman Tyler Haffey doubled down the right field line to score the runner on first.

Outstanding pitching highlighted the seventh and eighth innings. Panther junior Christian Cosby pitched a 1-2-3 inning in the top of the seventh, followed by Falcons' junior Michael Enriquez who only allowed one hit in the bottom half of the inning. Cosby and Enriquez both allowed no hits in the eighth inning to send the teams to the final inning of the game.

Concordia scored one run in the top of the ninth, but Cosby earned the save after striking out the final batter looking. Cosby struck out seven of the 13 batters he faced in the final three innings of the game. Chapman's hitting was crucial in the second game. Larkin tallied four RBIs on 2-for-3 hitting. Kevitch recorded two RBI's and two runs on 3-for-4 hitting.

The Panthers return to Hart Park tomorrow, March 4 at 11 a.m. to face the Falcons for the third time this weekend.

by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant

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