CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – The 2019 Chapman University baseball team is the 2019 NCAA Division III National Champion after routing Birmingham-Southern College 11-0 in the second game of the best-of-three series.
Senior Mason Collins pitched a complete-game gem to help rally the Panthers. The veteran threw nine scoreless innings, allowing six hits while striking out four batters. Collins finished his Chapman career with a 9-4 season record and a National Championship under his belt.
After coming back from an injury that kept him on the sidelines in game one and for the first six innings of game two, freshman Brad Shimabuku came in clutch to bat 2-for-2 with three RBIs and a run scored. The rookie knocked the first hit for Chapman, a two-run shot to right center that scored the Panthers' second and third runs. He also laid out for a SportsCenter-worthy catch in center field, rallying his teammates to put up huge numbers in the eighth inning.
After taking a 3-0 lead in the seventh, Chapman blew the game open with an eight-spot in the bottom of the eighth inning. With runners on second and third, sophomore Henry Zeisler smacked a two-run double to left field to give Chapman a five-run lead.
Chapman scored its next six runs with two outs on the board. Shimabuku hit a monster triple to left center to score one, followed by a single from senior Jarod Penniman to score Shimabuku. Junior Aaron Wong and senior Alex Tsuruda hit back-to-back doubles to score two more and freshman Drew Littwin knocked in the final run of the game on a base hit to right field.
Collins finished out the game by retiring the side, sending the Panthers charging on to the field in celebration.
Zeisler earned Most Outstanding Player of the World Series after dominating in the box. The first baseman hit .538 (14-for-26) in seven games with five RBIs, three doubles, five walks drawn and 10 runs scored.
For the first time since 2003, the Chapman University baseball team is the Division III National Champion.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant