ORANGE, Calif. – For a second straight game, the Chapman University baseball team struggled to put runs on the board as they fell to the Trinity Tigers, 7-1 on Friday night. The Panthers have been outscored 14-2 while dropping the first two games of the season.
Freshman Panther Matt Smith (0-1) took the mound at Hart Park for his first career start and pitched well in the opening frame. The right-hander gave up a run on a sacrifice fly, but recorded his first two career strikeouts in the inning. Smith was opposed by Trinity starter Tanner Barron (1-0), who retired the side in order, collecting two of his 13 strikeouts en route to his first win of the season.
While Barron was working his way through the Panthers lineup, Smith began to toil as his pitch count rose. A two-out, two-run home run from right-fielder Will Donnan gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead, which the Tigers would extend to a 6-0 advantage before Smith was relieved. The Panthers starter threw four innings, allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits with a pair of walks and six punch outs.
With a stable of young arms at his disposal, head coach Tom Tereschuk called on freshman Ben Vietze to relieve Smith. Vietze pitched effectively, limiting the Tigers to just one run over four innings before handing the ball over to fellow freshman reliever Andrew Felikian, who tossed a scoreless ninth.
The Panthers tacked on a run in the final frame courtesy of an RBI-single from freshman John Wiehe, who entered the game in the seventh as a defensive replacement. Wiehe went 2-for-2 on the evening and is the first Chapman player to collect a multi-hit game this season.
Chapman and Trinity will play the final game of their three-game series on Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 12 p.m. at Hart Park.
by Ryan Cavinder
Sports Information Assistant