Baseball wins non-conference weekend series

The baseball team won a non-conference series against Concordia University (Wisconsin), ending the weekend in third place.

After losing to the University of Redlands in a non-conference game Feb. 28, the Panthers started the weekend with a 4-3 walk-off win March 3, followed by a 13-8 loss the next day. A 12-1 win March 5 sealed the series for Chapman.

Despite their undefeated conference record, the Panthers sit in third place in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, as first-place University of La Verne (10-5, 7-2) and second-place Occidental College (9-5, 7-2) have played three more conference games than Chapman (11-4, 6-0).

The Panthers started out strong in the first game on Friday with three runs in the first inning. They remained in the lead, allowing one run until a two-run ninth inning.

“We came out swinging the bats well and got three runs in the first inning, which was key to setting the tone, but the offense stalled the rest of the game,” said junior infielder Gavin Blodgett.

Concordia was able to post two runs in the ninth to tie the game 3-3, but sophomore outfielder Christian Cosby scored on an illegal pitch with the bases loaded to win the game for the Panthers 4-3.

“(Concordia’s) starter settled down and they began going with different pitch sequences that ended up being effective,” Blodgett said. “We played defense well and (junior outfielder) Conner Larkin made a great sliding catch that prevented an extra-base hit. (Sophomore pitcher Joey) Harmon pitched a great game, but overall, we kind of snuck a win away because we didn’t hit like we’re capable of.”

The Falcons came out strong for the second game of the series and succeeded in avenging the previous night’s loss 13-8.

Concordia scored 11 runs within the first three innings, compared to the Panthers’ four runs. Although the Panthers managed to score four more, it wasn’t enough to complete a comeback.

On Sunday, junior outfielder Justin Stream had a near record-setting performance, tallying six RBIs against the Falcons, just one shy of the school record.

The Panthers were tied 1-1 until the fifth inning, when Stream hit a double with the bases loaded, sending in three runners before Stream scored off senior infielder John Wiehe’s double. Concordia was scoreless for the rest of the game, as the Panthers cruised to a 12-1 victory.

The Panthers next face Kean University from New Jersey in a non-conference game on Tuesday, March 7.

The Panthers will then start a three-game series March 10against eighth-place Whittier College (3-11, 1-8).

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