Chapman’s baseball team won its first game of this weekend’s three-game series against La Verne University. The away game was played on La Verne’s Senior Day, but freshman infielder Konnor Zickefoose helped crash the celebration with two home runs to lead the Panthers to an 8-5 win.
“The keys to success for the weekend are to pitch well and play good defense, that will set the tone for each game,” Head Coach Scott Laverty said prior to the April 22 game.
The Panthers (22-14, 16-8) did just that, holding La Verne scoreless through the first three innings while Chapman’s offense got going quickly and scored two runs in the first inning.
Chapman picked up another run from freshman infielder Andrew Mendonca and a single from freshman infielder Jarod Penniman. La Verne (17-18, 10-14) came back with two runs of its own in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Zickefoose responded with a two run homerun in the fifth. La Verne scored three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game at 5-5 heading into the sixth.
La Verne would not score another run in the rest of the game as freshman pitcher Mason Collins came into the game in the sixth inning and pitched four scoreless innings. Zickefoose then launched another homerun in the top of the ninth to help give Chapman an 8-5 win.
“Whenever we stay within ourselves and our abilities we can put together some great games,” Penniman said. “Getting hot right before playoffs is huge because confidence plays a big part in how we handle ourselves out on the field.”