ORANGE, Calif. – A doubleheader split with La Verne (26-11, 16-5 SCIAC) was highlighted by senior Jared Love's solo home run in the bottom of the second inning in the Panthers' (27-10, 12-9 SCIAC) game one victory. With 22 career home runs, Love becomes Chapman baseball's all-time leader in career home runs.
Game 1: W, 8-6
The Panthers were the first to get on the board after a scoreless first inning. Love struck first, hitting his record-breaking home run to put Chapman up 1-0. With the bases loaded and one out, junior Alex Tsuruda doubled to left center to score two runs and give the Panthers a 3-0 lead heading into the third. Chapman added another run in the bottom of the third when senior Gavin Blodgett doubled down the left field line and scored Love to give the Panthers a four-run lead.
After a scoreless fourth inning, the Leopards creeped back and scored four runs in the top of the fifth to tie the game at four runs apiece. Junior Tristan Kevitch fired right back, hitting a solo home run as the leadoff hitter in the bottom of the fifth. Love and Blodgett reached on a couple of singles, bringing up senior Justin Stream. The designated hitter doubled down the left field line, scoring both runners and giving the Panthers a 7-4 lead.
La Verne scored two more runs in the top of the seventh to cut the deficit to one run, but Stream fired back with a solo home run of his own to give Chapman its final 8-6 lead.
Stream went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a home run. Junior Tyler Peck tallied five strikeouts and allowed three hits in six innings pitched. Junior pitcher Mason Collins allowed just one hit and struck out two batters in two innings pitched. Freshman Cody Turner closed out the game in the top of the ninth, striking out one while allowing one hit.
Game 2: L, 4-6
The Panthers took an early 1-0 lead when Love singled up the middle in the bottom of the first, scoring Tsuruda. Junior Jarod Penniman and Kevitch extended Chapman's lead in the bottom of the second. Penniman singled to right field, scoring Stream from third base. With the bases loaded, Kevitch reached on a fielder's choice that also allowed senior Conner Larkin from third.
The Leopards answered with three runs in the top of the third and fourth innings to take a 6-3 lead with five innings left to play. Larkin hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth, but four scoreless innings gave La Verne the series win. Junior Christian Cosby started the game, giving up five hits and six runs while striking out two in 3.1 innings pitched. Fellow junior Jonathan Hernandez pitched 4.1 innings, striking out two while allowing one hit and no runs.
The Panthers return to Hart Park on Friday, April 27 at 3 p.m. to take on Occidental in their final series of the 2018 regular season. Seniors Conner Larkin, Jared Love, Brad Steiner, Gavin Blodgett and Justin Stream will be honored as they play the final home game of their Chapman baseball careers.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant