Baseball loses heartbreaker in final inning

Tyler Peck throws a pitch.
Tyler Peck (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University baseball team lost to the visiting Concordia of Wisconsin 2-1 after leading through eight innings this afternoon. Junior pitcher Tyler Peck was solid on the mound for the Panthers (8-5, 2-4 SCIAC), only allowing three hits and striking out 10 batters in five innings pitched against the Falcons (1-2, 0-0 NACC).

Both pitchers only allowed one hit in the first two innings, keeping the game scoreless heading into the third. Peck faced four batters in the top of the third, striking out three while allowing just one hit. Sophomore Joe Jimenez stepped up to the plate first for Chapman in the bottom of the third. The catcher singled through the left side, bringing up fellow sophomore Aaron Wong. Wong then bunted, making it safely to first and advancing Jimenez to second. Freshman Henry Zeisler took to the plate, hitting a sacrifice bunt that successfully advanced all the runners. With two runners in scoring position and one out, senior Justin Stream hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring Jimenez from third and giving the Panthers their only run of the day.

The fourth inning was highlighted by strong pitching, as neither Peck nor Concordia's sophomore starter Matthew Olig allowed a hit. The Falcons loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the fifth, but Peck had no problem getting out of it. Senior Kyle Hilliard popped up to Wong at shortstop, keeping all the runners on base. Chapman then turned a huge double play to keep the score at 1-0 in favor of Chapman. Concordia senior Justin Barney hit a grounder to Peck, who tossed it to Jimenez to get the force out at home. Jimenez then threw a bullet to freshman first baseman Mack Cheli just in time to get the runner out at first and end the inning.

Freshman Cody Turner entered the game for Peck in the sixth and pitched two lights-out innings, allowing no hits and striking out four batters.

Senior Kyle Washburn led off for the Falcons in the top of ninth and doubled down the right field line to put a runner in scoring position with no outs. Senior Matt Luft then hit a textbook bunt down the third base line that never seemed to roll into foul territory, safely making it to first base and advancing the runner to third. The next batter popped up to third base, bringing up senior Dan Ranieri. Ranieri singled through the left side, scoring the runner on third and tying the game. The next batter hit a sacrifice fly to left field, scoring another run and giving Concordia a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth. A 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth secured the come-from-behind victory for the Falcons.

The Panthers return to SCIAC play this week, facing Whittier in a doubleheader at Hart Park on Saturday, March 10 at 11a.m.

by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant

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