ORANGE, Calif. – Senior Jonathan Hernandez set the tone with a one-hit shutout as the Chapman University baseball took down fourth-seeded Cal Lutheran 7-0 in the opening game of the SCIAC Tournament. The Panthers advance into the winner's bracket of the tournament to play La Verne at 2 p.m. tomorrow.
Hernandez took a no-hitter into the sixth while the Panthers built a 5-0 lead on the offensive end. The senior righty struck out 10 and walked one while allowing just one runner into scoring position before he was doubled up to end the inning.
Just four Kingsmen reached base safely on a first inning error, a walk in the fourth, a double in the sixth and a hit batter in the ninth. A leadoff double landed just inside the line beyond the third base bag in the sixth inning but a lineout to short ended in a double play to erase the only threat Hernandez faced all game. After the double, he retired the next 10 batters in order.
The Panther bats made some noise in the bottom half of the innings while Hernandez kept the top half quiet. It took the Panthers just two batters to get on the board. Senior Alex Tsuruda led off the first with a double, moved to third on a wild pitch and score on freshman Brad Shimabuku's sacrifice fly to deep center.
Senior Tristan Kevitch sent a two-run blast well over the left field for a 3-0 lead in the third. A two-out double from sophomore Mack Cheli added two more insurance run and Shimabuku came through again with a bases loaded, two out single for the Panthers' final two runs.
Tsuruda ended the game 2-for-3 while Simabuku was also 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Every Panther starter had a hit in the contest.
Chapman will play second-seeded La Verne at 2 p.m. at Hart Park in the winner's bracket game tomorrow. The winner will move into Sunday's championship game.
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director