ORANGE, Calif. — After a tough afternoon at W.O. Hart Park, the Cal Lutheran Kingsmen finish second in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament, dropping the championship game to Chapman 5-2.
They finish the season 28-16 overall and 15-9 in conference play, the 26th consecutive winning season for head coach Marty Slimak and sixth SCIAC Tournament appearance since its inception in 2013.
On the bump, junior Troy Frazier allowed just three earned runs six hits while striking out five in 6.1 innings of work. Sophomore Clay Rickerman then followed him up with the final 1.2 hit-less innings to close the game and fanned two of his own.
Offensively, the Kingsmen got the first run on the board on a two-out RBI-knock by senior Weston Clark in the first, taking advantage of an error by the Panthers that put two men aboard. However, Chapman took advantage of misplays as well to score two on single and throwing error to take the 2-1 lead in their half of the inning.
They pushed their lead another run in the second, again on a throwing error, and made it a 4-1 ballgame in the fourth on a solo homer in by Henry Zeisler in the fourth.
On the other hand, Cal Lutheran began chipping away the deficit in the fifth with a leadoff single by junior Matt Sciumbato. Junior Cortez Espinoza then moved him into scoring position with a grounder that fell in the dead zone between the third baseman, the catcher and the pitcher, and junior Ryne Yamashiro finally brought him home with a single up the middle.
Unfortunately for the Kingsmen, the Panthers pushed their lead back to three with a sacrifice fly in the seventh to make it 5-2. And though Cal Lutheran got two hits off Chapman's closer Nick Garcia in the eighth, the struggled to bring another man across.
With the automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament going to Chapman, Cal Lutheran now awaits their fate from the NCAA committee. The tournament selection show is slated for 9 a.m. PST tomorrow, May 13.
Selection Show Link: DIII baseball selection show: Time, date, how to watch the 2019 bracket reveal
Box Score: CU 5, CLU 2
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Release by Christy Effendie, Assistant Sports Information Director