Panthers suffer first loss in home opener

Gavin Blodgett (Photo by Larry Newman)
Gavin Blodgett (Photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University baseball team suffered its first loss of the season in its home-opener to East Texas Baptist University 12-7 at Hart Park on Friday afternoon. The Panthers collected 12 hits on the day but fell short leaving 12 runners on base.

East Texas Baptist posted a run in the first inning then strung together five hits in the second inning for three runs to take an early lead over the Panthers. Freshman Dylan Sumpter knocked in a three run homer to the right side to put the Tigers up 4-0. Senior Tyler Bates followed up with a double to left and then scored on a single by senior Dynas Doud to lift the Tigers lead to 5-0 in just the second inning.  

After being held scoreless for a pair of innings, Tigers junior Zach Compton doubled over the centerfielders head to score Bates and push East Texas to a 6-3 lead in the fifth. Bates stayed hot through the sixth scoring his fourth run for the team on a two-run homer to push the Tigers to 8-4. The Tigers tacked on another run in the sixth and three more in the ninth to earn the 11-7 win.   

The Panthers scored three in the third, when sophomore Gavin Blodgett singled to left field to score freshman Anthony DeNiro from second and put the Panthers on the board 5-1. Senior Greg Dillon then scored on a line drive up the middle by senior Tyler Cook to help the Panthers to 5-2. The Panthers finished the third with Andrew Mendonca doubling down the left field line to knock in DiNero and push the Panthers to 5-3.

Senior David Basen doubled to right center in the sixth to put the Panthers back in the game 6-4. In the seventh, the Panthers loaded the bases and Mendonca came up clutch again doubling down the leftfield line to score three runs and keep the Panthers in the game 9-7.

DeNiro and Blodgett led the Panthers with a pair of hits each on the day. Senior Matt Smith suffered the loss after tossing a full five innings for the Panthers. The senior collected nine strikeouts in his first outing of the season.

The Panthers will continue their three-game series against East Texas Baptist on Saturday with a doubleheader at Hart Park set to begin at 11 a.m.

by Raquel Rinauro
Sports Information Assistant

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