ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University baseball team overcame an early deficit to take game one of the NCAA Regional 10-5 over visiting Whitman. The Panthers used a six-run fourth to change the momentum and key the victory.
The Blues came out swinging with four hits, including three doubles, in the first inning to jump out to an early 3-0 lead. Matthew Sox retired the Panthers in order in the first two innings as the lead climbed to 4-0 off Chapman's undefeated starter Jonathan Hernandez.
Hernandez settled in, allowing just a run on four hits over his final four innings as the Panthers' offense exploded. Chapman cut into the lead in the third with a sacrifice fly from senior Alex Tsuruda.
In the fourth, the Panthers hung six runs on the board on six hits and an error. Junior Joe Jimenez brought the Panthers within two when he dropped an RBI single into left. After an error loaded the bases, senior Jarod Penniman tied the game with a two-run single into center.
A walk freshman Drew Littwin loaded the bases again and Tsuruda gave the Panthers a 6-4 lead with an RBI-single up the middle. Shimabuku padded the lead when his single into left scored Littwin for a 7-4 lead.
Whitman came back within two runs with an RBI-hit in the sixth but Chapman added three more after a couple of errors in the seventh to go back up 10-5.
Hernandex struck out four in his final four innings and gave way to sophomore Cody Turner in the seventh. Turner tossed the final three innings for his fifth save of the season without allowing a hit. He pitched three shutout innings, striking out one and walking one.