Bats wake up in time to earn Panthers a doubleheader split with Cal Lu

Braden Riddle
Braden Riddle

ORANGE, Calif. – An offensive outburst in the second game of its doubleheader earned the Chapman University baseball team a split with visiting Cal Lutheran on Saturday. The Panthers scored nine runs in the afternoon contest at Hart Park to salvage the final game of the series.

Game 1: Cal Lutheran 7, Chapman 3

Starting pitcher Braden Riddle, virtually unhittable in his first four appearances (3-0, 1.38 ERA), got the start in the first act. The freshman tossed a quality start, but defensive miscues cost him the chance for a victory as he went eight innings allowing five runs, two of which were earned.

Chapman got on the board in the first inning, but their 1-0 lead was quickly relinquished as Cal Lu's Garrett Smith drove in two runs with a second inning single.

Trailing 3-1 in the sixth inning, DH Matt Gandy came through with a clutch, two-run single that scored Mark Saatzer, bringing the Panthers to within one run of Cal Lu. Tyler Cook would later drive in Connor Battaglia to tie the game at 3-3.

Cal Lu jumped right back on top in the seventh on a Nick Boggan double, followed immediately by a sacrifice fly from Jake Petersen that scored Nicho Della Valle. The Kingsmen would add two more in the ninth off Panther freshman Ben Vietze to secure the 7-3 victory.

Boxscore: http://www.chapmanathletics.com/sports/bsb/2012-13/boxscores/20130302_l6qz.xml

Game 2: Chapman 9, Cal Lutheran 6

Chapman scored early and often in the afternoon edition, earning the split with a 9-6 victory. The Panthers took advantage of a six-run second inning, cruising to their sixth win of the season (6-8).

Cal Lu starter Matt Burden, who entered the afternoon's contest with a 15.75 ERA, recorded just two outs before exiting the game with a 2-1 deficit and the bases full of Panthers. Fortunately for Burden, reliever Matt Johnston kept Chapman at bay, striking out catcher David Basen with the bases loaded.

The Kingsmen would not have the same good fortune in the second inning, as the Panthers put six runs on the board to take an 8-1 lead. Saatzer drove in the first two runs of the inning with a single that extended the lead to 4-1. Then with the bases loaded, Andrew Carbajal drove in two more with an opposite-field double. To cap off the inning, Basen came through on his second chance with runners in scoring position, connecting on a two-run single.

The momentum shift did not seem to affect the Kingsmen as they came back in the top half of the third to score five runs of their own. A solo home run from Boggan sparked a two-out, five-run rally that saw seven straight Cal Lu batters reach base. Panthers starting pitcher Matt Smith would head to the bench after just 2.2 innings in which he allowed six runs (five earned) on nine hits.

Seeking a stopper, head coach Tom Tereschuk called on junior Taber Watson, who put an end to the Cal Lu rally and finished the game, earning the win with 6.1 shutout innings. The junior has started the season by tossing 15.1 consecutive scoreless innings in relief.

The Panthers will head to Claremont on Friday to take on the Stags in the first of a three-game series that will feature a doubleheader at Hart Park on Saturday, March 9 – first pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Boxscore: http://www.chapmanathletics.com/sports/bsb/2012-13/boxscores/20130302_nb22.xml

by Bogart Avila & Ryan Cavinder
Sports Information Intern & Sports Information Assistant

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