SCIAC Tournament: 5 Things to Know

The baseball team celebrates a walk-off victory.
Photo courtesy of Larry Newman

TOURNAMENT TIME

The Panthers head into the 2019 SCIAC Postseason Tournament as the reigning SCIAC Tournament Champions. Chapman completed an epic nine-run comeback to defeat the University of Redlands 20-12 in the elimination game of the 2018 tournament. This year, only Chapman and the University of La Verne return to the SCIAC Postseason Tournament after earning the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds respectively.

THE MATCHUPS

Chapman has made the SCIAC Postseason Tournament in the last four consecutive years. The Panthers are 0-3 in postseason play against Cal Lutheran and face off against the Kingsmen in the first round tomorrow. Chapman has only faced Occidental once in the postseason, dropping the elimination game to the Tigers in the 2016 season. The Panthers are 2-0 against La Verne, most recently knocking off the No. 1 seed in the 2018 SCIAC Postseason Tournament.

PANTHER PITCHING STAFF

Chapman boasts some of the best pitchers in the SCIAC – and the nation. The staff has a combined 3.12 ERA, ranking second in the conference and 12th in the nation. The starting rotation, consisting of seniors Tyler Peck, Jonathan Hernandez and Mason Collins all rank in the top-5 in the conference in strikeouts. Peck leads the conference and ranks second in the nation with 125 strikeouts this season. Sophomore reliever Nick Garcia owns a 0.75 ERA, striking out 61 batters and allowing just three earned runs in 36 innings pitched.

COMEBACK SEASON

From day one, the Panthers have been making epic comebacks to post a 30-9 overall record this season. Chapman went down in all four games in the Cactus Classic to start off the season – and came back to win all four. The late-game antics have been a constant theme for the Panthers. Chapman has earned 11 of its wins after trailing or tied going into the sixth inning. They have outscored their opponents 136-54 after the fifth inning and are 17-4 when their opponents score first.

BEST IN THE WEST

For 11 straight weeks, the Panthers have been in the top-20 in the nation in d3baseball.com's national rankings and are the only team in the SCIAC to do so. Chapman has won every matchup against other top-25 teams, including a huge 8-5 victory over No. 13 Texas Lutheran earlier this season. The Panthers also routed No. 25 Ithaca 11-1 to prove they are one of the top teams. Most recently, Chapman was tabbed the best team in the West region, earning the No. 1 spot from the NCAA.

The Panthers face off against No. 4-seed Cal Lutheran tomorrow, May 10 at 3 p.m. at Hart Park.