PASADENA, CA – The Caltech nine gave the SCIAC co-leaders all they could handle but fell 7-5 to Chapman on Wednesday afternoon.
Playing one of their best all-around games of the season the Beavers battled back from an early deficit and played their second error free game of the season in nearly pulling off the upset.
The Panthers put a four-spot on the scoreboard in the first inning as they plated those runs on three hits. The big blow was a Connor Battaglia two RBI double. Regardless of the early deficit, Caltech responded with a pair of runs in their half of the inning. Ryan Casey's two-out single scored Daniel Chou and Tim Menninger as they cut their 4-0 hole in half.
The score remained 4-2 until the bottom of the third inning when Caltech put two more runs on the scoreboard. Chou started the inning with a single then stole second base. An Albie Lavin single put runners on first and second with nobody out. Chou scored on a pass ball to bring the Beavers within a run. Caltech tied the score when Casey singled home Lavin.
Chapman re-took the lead in the top of the fifth inning when Matt Gandy lifted a two-run homerun over the rightfield fence. The score stayed 6-4 in Chapman's favor until the top of the eighth inning when Gandy hit his second homerun of the day with a solo shot down the rightfield line.
A defiant Beavers squad fought back with a run in the bottom half of the eighth as John Galden's two-out single scored Harrison Jacobs. Chapman went 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to set-up a dramatic ending.
Menninger started the bottom of the ninth with a walk then Chou singled. Chapman got the first out of the inning when Ben Vietze struck out Albie Lavin. Jacobs grounded out but moved Menninger and Chou into scoring position. With two-out Casey hit a sharp grounder right to the third baseman to end the game.
Casey had a productive offensive effort as the junior went 2-for-5 and increased his team leading RBI total to 17. Chou also banged out two hits and crossed the plate twice.
Chou pitched eight innings for the Beavers where he scattered eight hits. The hit total was the fewest the sophomore gave-up in game he started this season.
Gandy went 2-for-3 with three RBI's and three runs scored to lead the Chapman offense.