Feb. 15, 2010

Courtesy of Chapman Athletics

ORANGE, Calif. -
For the third straight game, the Chapman University baseball team posted double-digits in hits and runs, and three freshmen pitchers combined on a six-hitter as the Panthers defeated visiting Whittier College 15-3, completing the season-opening three-game sweep of the Poets.

Freshman RHP Brian Rauh (1-0) earned his first collegiate victory, allowing three runs and four hits while striking out 11 batters in five innings of work for Chapman (3-0). Rauh's performance was especially noteworthy in that he struck out six consecutive batters in the first two innings, including four batters in the second inning (one reached on a third strike wild pitch).

After allowing a leadoff triple and an RBI groundout the next nine outs recorded by the rookie right-hander all came via strikeout. The strikeouts took a toll on the youngster's pitch count however and he was lifted after five innings.

Rauh left the game leading thanks to a four-run fourth inning by the Panthers, who enjoyed another big offensive game after defeating Whittier 14-1 and 11-1 on the road Sunday. An RBI single by senior OF Ryan Hall and an RBI double by senior C Joe Lehman helped Chapman overcome an early 3-1 deficit and take a 6-3 lead in the fourth.

Two more freshman righties followed Rauh out of the pen and held Whittier (0-3) to just two hits the rest of the game. Travis McGee and Christian Maietta each threw two shutout innings to seal the victory.

Lehman - the Panthers' cleanup man - certainly has been cleaning up. He went 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and four RBI in the game and batted .583 (7for-12) with four doubles and 10 RBI in the three-game series. Senior IF Matt Luzar also had three hits, including two doubles, and three RBI. His two-run double capped a six-run eighth inning for Chapman.

The Panthers, ranked No. 4 in the ABCA Division III Coaches Poll, batted .435 in the series and out-scored their opponents 40-5.