The Chapman baseball team opened NCAA Division III Baseball World Series action with a 6-3 win over Washington & Jefferson Friday morning at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
With the win, Chapman improves to 39-11 overall and will play UMass-Boston on Saturday, June 1 at 11:15 a.m. PDT. Washington & Jefferson moves to 37-12 and will play Webster at 8 a.m. in the elimination bracket.
Chapman opened up an early 3-0 lead scoring once in the bottom of the second, and twice in the bottom of the third. In the second, Mack Cheli singled in Henry Zeisler, before the Panthers used an RBI triple by Brad Shimabuku and a run-scoring base hit by Tristan Kevitch to give Chapman a 3-0 advantage. Alex Tsuruda came around to score on Shimabuku's three-bagger, before Shimabuku crossed the dish on Kevitch's single to center.
In the top of the sixth, Washington & Jefferson pushed a pair of runs across on a two-run double to left field by James Artale, who later came full circle when Joey Bolick lifted a sacrifice fly to center field to knot the game at 3-3.
In the bottom of the sixth, Chapman regained the lead when Kevitch reached on a miscue by the defense and later came in to score on a single through the left side by Cheli to make it 4-3.
After a scoreless seventh inning, the Panthers added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth. Jarod Penniman drove in a run with a fielder's choice, while Aaron Wong collected an RBI double as Penniman scored on the two-bagger to left field.
Jonathan Hernandez secured the win on the mound for Chapman as he allowed three runs on seven hits in seven frames of work. He tossed five strikeouts to improve to 9-0 on the season. Cody Turner pitched one inning of relief and fanned two batters, while Nick Garcia picked up his 10th save of hte season with a strikeout in one inning of work.