Love homers, baseball rolls past Ithaca

Jared Love hits the ball.
Jared Love (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University baseball team routed the visiting Ithaca 11-2 earlier this afternoon. The Panthers (11-7, 3-6 SCIAC) tallied 14 total hits and eight different players had at least one hit in the victory over the Bombers (4-5).

Senior Jared Love led the squad, hitting a two-run homer to tally his 18th career home run and the first of this season. Following was fellow senior Conner Larkin, who had three hits and two runs on 3-for-5 hitting. Sophomore Aaron Wong, juniors Tristan Kevitch and Andrew Mendonca and freshman Nick Garcia each tallied two hits and Kevitch and Garcia also tallied two RBIs each.

After a scoreless first inning, Ithaca started the scoring when junior Jake Generali singled through the left side, scoring the runner on third. Chapman struck right back in the bottom of the second, scoring two runs of their own. Mendonca was up after senior Gavin Blodgett reached first on an error. The designated hitter doubled to deep left field, scoring Blodgett from first base. After a fielder's choice kept runners safe at first and third, junior Alex Tsuruda stepped up to the plate. Tsuruda reached on an error by the shortstop, scoring Mendonca from third and giving the Panthers a 2-1 lead in the second.

Chapman scored at least on run in each of the next five innings. Back-to-back-to-back singles in the fourth loaded up the bases for Kevitch in the bottom of the fourth. Kevitch doubled down the left field line, scoring two runs and bringing Love up to bat. The senior stepped up and homered to left field, scoring two runs and extending the Panthers' lead to 7-1.

With Love on first and two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Blodgett tripled to left field, scoring Love and giving Chapman a 9-2 lead. The Panthers finished their scoring in the seventh, when Garcia hit a sacrifice fly to score a run and Wong singled to score Larkin.

Sophomore Austin Merrill picked up his first win of the season, allowing just five hits in five innings pitched. The Bombers went three up, three down in the top of the eighth against junior Christian Cosby. The right-hander struck out two of the three batters to end the inning.

The Panthers head back to Hart Park tomorrow, March 15 at noon to face Dickinson in a non-conference doubleheader.

by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant

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