ORANGE, Calif. – A dominant pitching performance and some early offense led the Chapman University baseball team to a 7-3 win over visiting Linfield on Friday. Junior Matt Mogollon and Austin Merrill combined to strike out 14 Wildcats in the win.
Chapman (15-7) went up early when senior Jared Love sent a two-run homer over the left field fence in the first. A sacrifice fly from junior Alex Tsuruda in the second and an RBI-groundout from senior Gavin Blodgett in the third had the Panthers up 4-0.
That would be all Mogollon needed but not all the support he would receive. He went eight strong innings and struck out a season-high 11 batters while allowing just one walk, which didn't come until the eighth inning. It was the second time this season that he has struck out double digit batters and was one short of his career-high. Merrill struck out the side in the ninth to close out the game and tie the Panthers' season-high of 14 strikeouts.
Linfield (13-11) scattered around three runs on eight hits. Ryan Ross homered in the top of the fourth to put the Wildcats on the board and drove in two more with a double that just caught the chalk on the third-base line in the eighth.
Senior Conner Larkin led off the fourth with a solo home run to right – his third round-tripper of the year. The Panthers put up a couple of insurance runs in the seventh after back-to-back singles from junior Tristan Kevitch and Love put two on with no outs. A series of wild pitches brought in Kevitch while Blodgett beat a drawn in infield with a well-struck grounder into right field to plate Love.
Kevitch went 3-for-5, scored three times and stole a pair of bases as the Panthers 2-3-4 hitters of sophomore Aaron Wong, Kevitch and Love went a combined 7-for-15 with five runs scored and two RBIs.
Chapman is back home tomorrow to take on Middlebury at 11 a.m. and Williams at 3 p.m.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director