CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Chapman University scored the final three runs to break a tie and record a 6-3 victory over the Washington & Jefferson baseball team in the opening game of the NCAA Division III College World Series at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The win improved No. 6 Chapman to 39-11, while the loss dropped W&J’s record to 37-12.
Chapman will face the No. 23 UMass Boston today. The Presidents will face 18th-ranked Webster University at 11 a.m. today in an elimination game.
The loss snaps a nine-game winning streak for W&J, which included eight straight wins in the postseason. The Presidents will face an elimination game for the first time in 2019 when they take the field this morning.
The game was tied, 3-3, in the eighth when Chapman scored twice. The first run was produced when shortstop Jarod Pennim reached on a fielder’s choice that scored first baseman Henry Zeisle. Second baseman Aaron Wong’ double to left field scored Pennim.
After a scoreless first inning, Chapman tallied an unearned run in the bottom of the second to take an early 1-0 lead. Three consecutive Panthers reached base, as the designated home team took advantage of a two base throwing error to put runners at second and third with no outs. Mack Cheli followed with an RBI single to make the score 1-0. W&J starter Ben Marsico was able to limit the damage, getting an infield pop out before inducing an inning-ending double play.
The Panthers added two more runs on three hits in the third inning to push their lead to 3-0. After one out, Chapman got the inning going with a double down the left field line. Brad Shimabuku followed with an RBI triple to deep right center. Tristan Kevitch tacked on an RBI single to score the Panthers’ third run.
The W&J bats remained quiet until the top of the sixth inning. The Presidents broke through with three runs on four hits to even the score at 3-3. Seniors Dante Dalesandro and Mullen Socha sparked the rally with back-to-back singles to start the inning.
After a groundout advanced the runners to second and third, senior James Artale laced a two-run double to deep left center to score Dalesandro and Socha. Adam Moore followed with a single through the left side to advance Artale to third and put runners on the corners. A sacrifice fly by Joey Bolick scored Artale to make it 3-3.
Another defensive miscue, the third of the game for W&J, allowed Chapman to regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Panthers put runners on first and third with no outs. Marsico nearly worked out of the jam, getting a line out and then a caught stealing by Justin Griffin. However, the Panthers used a two-out, two-strike RBI single to pull back in front.
Dalesandro and Moore finished with two hits apiece to pace the W&J offense. Marsico took the loss to drop his record to 11-2 on the season. Marsico allowed four runs (two earned) on eight hits in 6.0 innings. Mitchell Taufer logged 1.2 innings in relief, allowing two earned runs.