ORANGE, Calif. – The winning streak reached nine before being snapped as the Chapman University baseball team split a doubleheader with Whittier, 4-3 and 2-3. After yesterday's extra innings win at Whitter, the early game win gave the Panthers their third series win in a row and boosted Chapman into first place in the SCIAC standings.
With 20 strikeouts over the two games, the Panthers totaled 31 strikeouts for the series – the fourth time the pitching staff has struck out at least 30 batters in Chapman's six three-game series.
Game 1 – W, 4-3
Another late rally led to yet another late inning comeback as the Panthers extended their winning streak to nine games. Senior Tyler Peck did not get a decision on the mound but turned in a dominant effort with 14 strikeouts over seven and two-thirds innings.
Peck set the tone early as he struck out the first five batters in a row and six of the first seven. It wasn't until the fourth inning that he allowed a hit. After last year's no-hitter against Whittier when Peck threw seven no-hit innings, Dane Goodman's run-scoring single was the Poets' first hit off of Peck in a 12-inning span.
The hit tied the game at 1-1 after senior Jarod Penniman scored on an error in the bottom of the third. The Poets managed just four hits off of Peck by the time he left with two outs in the eighth, but manufactured three runs for a lead.
Whittier took a 2-1 lead in the fifth on a squeeze bunt but the Panthers tied it up in the sixth when freshman Miguel Cebedo's fly ball was dropped in center, allowing a run to come home. Goodman came up clutch for Whittier again in the eighth with another RBI-single for the late lead.
Chapman rallied in the bottom half as sophomore Mack Cheli singled and freshman Miguel Cebedo doubled with a one-hopper over the wall in right to put runners on second and third with no outs. Chapman tied the game on a passed ball, ball-four to freshman Brad Shimabuku. After Shimabuku stole second, junior Joe Jimenez was robbed of extra bases when his screaming line drive was plucked out of the air at third base. Junior Aaron Wong followed with a sacrifice fly to give the Panthers a 4-3 lead.
Sophomore Cody Turner came in to shut down the Poets rally in the eighth and finished off the ninth to pick up his third win. Tim Turpen had a strong outing on the mound, allowing just one earned run through seven innings, but was tagged with all four Panther runs in a tough loss. He struck out two, walked three and surrendered six hits through seven-plus innings.
Game 2 – L, 3-2
The Poets needed just one extra base hit to bring across three runs. Senior Mason Collins pitched seven strong innings with three strikeouts and two hits but Whittier beat out several infield singles to amass 11 hits.
Another back and forth battle saw the Panthers take the lead first, Whittier tie it up, Chapman get back ahead by a run and Whittier score two late runs to hold on for the win. Back-to-back doubles by Cheli and Cebedo turned in to the first run of the game in the fourth inning and a 1-0 Chapman lead.
Whittier answered in the fifth with three singles in a row to tie the game. Another double from Wong was followed by a sacrifice bunt and RBI-single from freshman Drew Littwin for a 2-1 Panther lead. A leadoff double set up the Poets in the seventh. Penniman's diving stop up the middle saved a run momentarily on the next batter but the Poets still had runners on the corners with one out. After the diving stop, Whittier stroked back-to-back singles to tie the game 2-2 and then take the lead 3-2 on Nick Krska's single.
The Panthers threatened in the seventh but Alex Escobar shut down the rally after entering in relief. He retired the Panthers in order in the eighth and overcame a two-out walk in the ninth to secure the save.
Chapman stay home on Friday to open a three-game series with Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at 3 p.m.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director