ORANGE, Calif. – In its first doubleheader of the season, the Chapman University baseball team earned a split with visiting Occidental College on Saturday at Hart Park. The Panthers won a 2-1 pitcher's duel in game one before being out-slugged in game two and losing to Occidental, 10-6.
Game 1: Chapman 2, Occidental 1
The Occidental Tigers got off to a quick start, scoring a run off an RBI-double from Riley Smith in the top of the first. The earned run allowed by freshman Braden Riddle (2-0) was just the second he had given up in three appearances this season. It would also prove to be the only run he would allow on the day as he threw eight innings, allowing seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts.
While Riddle worked his way through the Tigers lineup, Occidental starter Mitch Margolis faced little resistance from the Panthers, retiring the minimum nine batters in the first three innings.
After being held scoreless in their first four at-bats, the Panther offense came alive in the fifth when sophomore Greg Dillon led off the inning with a double and scored on a Connor Battaglia RBI-single. Dillon made his mark again in the sixth, scoring on a bases loaded single from senior Tyler Surnbrock to push the Panther lead to 2-1.
Margolis was lifted from the game in the sixth inning after allowing two runs in 5.1 innings. The Tigers utilized four pitchers in the final 2.2 innings to keep the offense Panthers at bay, but could not break through in the batter's box. Junior Taber Watson came on in the ninth and earned his first save of the season.
Game 2: Occidental 10, Chapman 6
The second game of the afternoon saw the Panthers jump out to a 4-0 lead in the first frame. Tigers' starter CJ Murayama was not able to overcome two fielding errors by his teammates and a two-run single off the bat of freshman Matt Molnar capped the offensive attack.
The Oxy Tigers came roaring back in the top of the second, loading the bases against Panther starter Andrew Carabajal (0-1). Head coach Tom Tereschuk pulled Carabajal in favor of Ben Vietze, who allowed all three inherited runners to score and gave up four more runs of his own to give Oxy a 7-4 advantage. The Tigers had six batters record RBI in the inning, including a two-run single by first baseman Pedro Aldape.
After the early offensive attacks, the pitchers for both teams settled in. Murayama limited Chapman to just two more runs, exiting the game after allowing six runs in five innings. Panther freshman Matt Smith came on in relief of Vietze and pitched 6.1 effective innings, limiting the Tigers to three runs (two earned) while walking two and striking out five.
The strong effort from Smith was thwarted by two late-inning RBI-singles from Tigers' left fielder Alec Strain that sealed the 10-6 victory for Occidental.
by Jordan Esparza & Ryan Cavinder
Sports Information Intern / Sports Information Assistant