On a rainy March 10 day when one of two scheduled games were played, the baseball team took over early against Whittier College. Thanks to two walks, two singles, two hit-by-pitches, and a fielding error all strung together with two outs, Chapman jumped out to a 5-1 lead against Whittier in the first inning, on the way to a 9-7 win.
Chapman sent 10 batters to the plate in the first inning. Getting back to the start of the lineup with two outs was key in driving home baserunners, said head coach Scott Laverty.
“If you get two-out walks and all the (baserunners) that we got (toward) the end of the game, the lineup is going to be better in your favor,” Laverty said. “Those two-out runs are really crucial.”
By the time the fifth inning ended, senior outfielder Conner Larkin had scored three times, junior shortstop Jarod Penniman had driven in three runs, and the scoreboard read “Chapman 9, Whittier 1.”
Junior pitcher Joey Harmon (3-0) had a quality start for Chapman, giving up two runs over six innings. He struck out four and walked four, allowing seven to reach base.
“He was in the strike zone and (picked up) some big strikeouts when he needed to,” Laverty said. “We really needed him to go out and pitch that way.”
Junior pitcher Jonathan Hernandez picked up his first save of the season, recording the final four outs of the game.
Although Whittier scored six runs total in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings – including five earned runs off of reliever Brad Steiner – it ultimately was not enough to close the gap.
Laverty refuted the notion that the drizzle, which progressively worsened as the game continued, affected the game.
“Until we call it, we’re playing,” Laverty said.