ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University baseball team earned a pair of wins this afternoon with wins over Middlebury College (1-6) and Williams College (1-4). Junior Tyler Peck pitched six innings and struck out a career-high 12 batters in the 9-0 shutout effort, while senior Gavin Blodgett hit a three-run homer to help the Panthers (17-7) earn the 5-3 victory in game one.
Game 1 vs. Middlebury: W, 5-3
Chapman started the scoring in the bottom of the second after a scoreless first inning. With senior Jared Love and junior Andrew Mendonca on base, senior Conner Larkin doubled to deep right center, scoring Love from second base. Junior Jarod Penniman then stepped up to the plate and grounded out to the second baseman, scoring Mendonca from third base and putting the Panthers up 2-0.
With two outs and runners on second and third in the bottom of the third, Blodgett went yard to left center, tallying a season-high three RBIs and giving Chapman their largest lead of the day at five runs. Middlebury scored a couple of runs in the top of the fifth and a run in the top of the sixth, but freshman closer Cody Turner retired the side in the top of the ninth to earn his second save of the season.
Junior Joey Harmon went six innings with four strikeouts and two runs allowed. Fellow junior pitcher Jonathan Hernandez relieved in the top of the sixth, striking out two and allowing one run in three innings pitched.
Game 2 vs. Williams: W, 9-0
Peck continued to dominate on the mound, averaging two strikeouts an inning and helping the Panthers to their second shutout of the season. The junior allowed just three hits while giving up no runs in his career-high effort.
Chapman came out of the dugout hot, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first after a 1-2-3 top of the inning from Peck. Love, Blodgett, Mendonca and Penniman each tallied an RBI to give the Panthers a 4-0 lead early in the game.
After two scoreless innings, sophomore Aaron Wong singled to left center, scoring fellow sophomore Joe Jimenez from third and giving Chapman a five-run lead heading into the fifth. The Panthers tallied another run in the bottom of the fifth when Larkin singled to right center, scoring Blodgett from second.
Up 8-0 in the eighth, Chapman added a couple of insurance runs. With freshman Nick Garcia on second base and freshman Trevor Marrs on third, junior Trevor Willits singled through the right side to score Marrs. Freshman Kyle Joye stepped up to the plate and reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Garcia and giving Chapman their final 9-0 lead.
Juniors Mason Collins and Christian Cosby came in as relievers and helped complete the shutout. Collins struck out one and allowed no hits in two innings pitched while Cosby went three up, three down in the ninth with one strikeout. Wong and Mendonca each went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run. Blodgett finished the day with four RBIs.
The Panthers play the 11th game of their 12-game home stand on Wednesday, March 28. Chapman will face off against George Fox at 2:30 p.m. at Hart Park.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant