ORANGE, Calif. – After dropping its first two games of the season, the Chapman University baseball team won in convincing fashion on Saturday, defeating the Trinity Tigers, 11-1 at Hart Park. The Panthers tallied 14 hits after collecting just seven hits in the first two games of the series.
For a second straight game, head coach Tom Tereschuk called on a freshman pitcher to make his collegiate debut, this time pegging San Clemente native Braden Riddle (1-0). The freshman got off to a shaky start as an error by third baseman John Wiehe, followed by back-to-back singles, gave the Tigers an early 1-0 lead.
In an effort to jump-start the Panthers offense in the bottom half of the second inning, Tereschuk called for a suicide squeeze from catcher David Basen. The risky call paid off as Connor Battaglia scored to tie the game up. Chapman would later take their first lead of the season on an RBI-single from first baseman Mark Saatzer in the third.
As the Panthers gained the lead, Riddle settled in and worked his way through the middle innings retiring 12 of the final 15 batters he faced. The freshman left the game after seven strong innings of work, allowing one unearned run on six hits while walking two and striking out eight.
Inspired by the effort from their starting pitcher, the Panthers' offense came to life in the latter innings as they plated three runs in the sixth, two in the seventh and four in the eighth. The middle of Chapman's batting order (3-4-5) did most of the heavy lifting as Saatzer, Battaglia and Matt Gandy went a combined 8-for-13 with six runs scored and two RBI. Second baseman Eddie Aguayo and David Basen contributed to the offensive attack with two RBI each.
Chapman will play away from Hart Park for the next two weeks, with two games at Cal State San Marcos and two more at Occidental. The Panthers return home to Hart Park on Saturday, February 16 for a doubleheader against the Occidental Tigers.
by Ryan Cavinder
Sports Information Assistant