Chapman’s baseball team split the final two games of its three game series against Pomona-Pitzer Sagehens April 17, and now sits in fourth place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Conference standings.
The Panthers (20-13, 14-7) struggled to contain Pomona-Pitzer’s bats in the first game, which resulted in an 8-3 loss. The Panthers got on the scoreboard first with a run in the top of the second inning, but the Sagehens (14-18, 7-14) quickly responded with two runs of their own in bottom of the second.
“This weekend’s series against Pomona showed us that we need to continue to improve on minimizing the amount of free bases we allow,” said freshman pitcher Matt Mogollon. “I thought the team did a great job of staying competitive throughout both games we won. In each of our victories, we were chasing a couple runs early on, but we managed to put continuous pressure on Pomona’s pitching and defense that ultimately allowed us to take the lead and win the series.”
Chapman came back to tie the game with an RBI single from freshman infielder Konnor Zickefoose in the top of the third inning, but the Sagehens once again responded with two runs of their own. The Sagehens stayed in control the rest of the game as they scored four more runs to seal an 8-3 win.
The second game was a much more efficient one for the Panthers’ offense as they scored runs in seven different innings, resulting in a 13-9 win.
This time Pomona-Pitzer got off to a quick start, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning. Chapman responded with an RBI single from senior catcher David Basen, who scored two runs and evened the game up at two runs apiece. The Sagehens then caught fire, driving in four runs in the bottom of the second inning, but were then held scoreless until the eighth. While Pomona-Pitzer struggled, the Panthers scored 11 runs in the remaining seven innings, which proved too much for the Sagehens to stage a comeback.
Matt Mogollon picked up the win for the Panthers, pitching five innings and giving up no runs. Freshman infielder Jarod Penniman also came up big with four runs and three hits in five at-bats.
“Heading into next week’s set of games, we have the opportunity to solidify ourselves a spot in the (conference) tournament,” Mogollon said. “So the next game is the most important one from here on out. To win these games, we just just have to play the game of baseball. That means making the routine plays, throwing strikes, and getting on base. If we do just that, we’ll put ourselves in a great position to win.”
Chapman now sits in fourth place in the conference, behind the University of Redlands (23-11, 16-8), which has won six games in a row. Chapman will finish out the regular season next weekend with three games against fifth place La Verne (6-16, 9-12). Redlands does not have any more conference games remaining, which means two wins in the remaining three games would move Chapman into the third spot heading into the playoffs.