Orange, Calif. — After winning their last three straight, the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen fell prey to the Chapman Panthers 9-4 in game one of Easter weekend. Tanner Wright and Kaden White notched multi-hit afternoons, including a double apiece, but could not overcome a big sixth inning by the Panthers.
Chapman opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second with an RBI single from Jarod Penniman that sent home Jared Love. Cal Lutheran then equalized the score in the top of the fourth after a lead-off walk to Ryne Yamashiro. Matt Sciumbato came up next looking to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but instead reached on an error by the pitcher and moved Yamashiro into scoring position. Weston Clark followed and successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up 90 feet before Cheynne Giles grounded out to the shortstop to bring Yamashiro home.
The Panthers answered back though with a solo homer by Andrew Mendonca in the fourth and tacked on two additional runs in the bottom of the fifth off a single from Aaron Wong and an error by Yamashiro.
With the score 4-1, the Kingsmen pulled within two of the Panthers in the top of the sixth. Jeff Wilson entered the game for Sciumbato in right field and sent a single to the shortstop for his first at bat of the day. Clark followed with a walk before White doubled down the left field line, bringing Wilson in to score.
However, Chapman utilized the long ball to break open their lead in the bottom of the sixth. Nate Wehner allowed a lead-off walk to Mendonca who reached home on a triple to right by Conner Larkin. Penniman followed with a sacrifice fly to left to score Larkin, and Wong notched his second RBI of the day with a single to right. Finally, Tristan Kevitch capped off the offensive surge with a two-run blast, breaking the score open to 9-2.
Looking for a last-chance rally, Clark worked a walk with the bases loaded in the top of the seventh to score Alec Iniguez. Cal Lutheran would score again in the ninth off a leadoff double by Wright and subsequent single from Max Weinstein to bring him home. The rally ended there for the Kingsmen though as they fell 9-4 to Chapman in game one of the series.
Cal Lutheran faces Chapman again tomorrow, March 31, 2018, at home in a double header for the series victory. Games are set for 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. PST.
Box Score: CU 9, CLU 4
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director