Panthers make quick work of Caltech

Justin Hanks (photo by Larry Newman)
Justin Hanks (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University baseball team defeated visiting Caltech 4-1 in the first of a three-game weekend SCIAC series at Hart Park on Friday afternoon. The Panthers needed just an hour and 45 minutes to dispose of the Beavers as each opposing starting pitcher tossed a complete game under 100 pitches.

It was Chapman (13-17 overall, 10-9 SCIAC) junior RHP Justin Hanks who won the duel, earning his first complete game of the season to improve to 3-7 overall. Hanks scattered five hits and allowed just one unearned run in the eighth inning preventing him from the shutout. The junior retired the first 10 batters of the game and finished with three strikeouts.

The Panthers' offense got to Caltech RHP Jerome Skelly in the first inning as sophomore IF Greg Dillon led off the game with a base hit, stole second and scored on junior IF Mark Saatzer's RBI single to left-center.

The score stayed 1-0 until the fifth inning, and again it was Dillon who got things started with a single to center; one of his three hits on the day. Junior OF Connor Battaglia would eventually drive Dillon in with an RBI groundout and Chapman tacked on one more run in the inning on a Caltech error to make it 3-0.

After Caltech (1-23 overall, 0-19 SCIAC) scored its lone run on a Chapman error in the top of the eighth, the Panthers responded with their final run in the bottom of the inning as freshman DH Jeff Ortega doubled and came around to score on a double by freshman IF Matt Molnar to make it 4-1. Ortega was 4-for-4 for Chapman and is hitting .500 (13-for-26) over his last seven games.

Skelly allowed 12 hits, but walked none in eight innings for the Beavers to fall to 0-4.

The win moves Chapman one game above .500 in SCIAC play but the Panthers still remain on the outside looking in for the SCIAC playoffs in sixth place. The top four teams in the conference qualify for the postseason tournament.

The series shifts to Pasadena on Saturday where Caltech will host Chapman in a doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m.

by Doug Aiken
Sports Information Director


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