The Chapman baseball team advanced to the NCAA Division III Baseball World Series best-of-three game championship series following an 8-4 victory over UMass-Boston Monday at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
With the win, Chapman improves to 42-12 on the season and will take on Birmingham Southern (42-13) in the best-of-three game championship series. Game one is set for 9 a.m. PDT on Tuesday, with game two to follow at 1:30 p.m. PDT. The if necessary third game will take place Wednesday at 9 a.m. Birmingham-Southern posted a 6-1 win over Heidelberg and a 4-3 win over Johns Hopkins, before knocking off the Blue Jays for a second a time, 15-4 to secure its spot in the national championship series.
After a two-run home run to left field gave UMass-Boston an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, Chapman answered right back with two runs in the home half of the second as Mack Cheli legged out an RBI infield single, while Drew Littwin delivered a sacrifice fly to right field to drive in the second run to make it 2-2.
The Panthers struck for three in the bottom of the fourth as Aaron Wong tripled to center field driving in two runs before coming full circle on an Alex Tsuruda double down the left field line to make it 5-2.
With runners in scoring position in the bottom of the fifth, Tristan Kevitch came home with Chapman's sixth run on a balk by the Beacons' pitcher. Cheli then tripled to right center field to score Henry Zeisler, and he later stole home to give the Panthers a commanding 8-2 lead after five frames.
UMass-Boston was able to use an error by Chapman in the sixth to plate a run, and then used a double by Kyle Boudrias in the eighth inning to score another, but the Beacons could only pull to within four as Cody Turner pitched the final inning for the Panthers and shut the door, allowing two walks and striking out one batter to help seal the win.
Jonathan Hernandez improved to 10-0 on the season after tossing eight strong innings. He allowed four runs (three earned) on eight hits and struck out five batters.