Shimabuku walks off against Centenary

Brad Shimabuku waits for his pitch.
Brad Shimabuku (photo by Larry Newman)

ORANGE, Calif. – The walk-off kings were back at it earlier this afternoon as they earned their third walk-off victory of the season with a 3-2 win over the visiting Centenary College Gents. Freshman Brad Shimabuku came up with the clutch single in the bottom of the ninth to send the Panthers running onto the field in celebration.

With junior Joe Jimenez in scoring position and one out, Shimabuku stepped up to face the Gents' reliever. The rookie soared one into center field, driving Jimenez home to end the game and earn his third RBI of the season.

After a scoreless first inning, Centenary scored a run in the top of the second to take an early 1-0 lead. Shimabuku answered in the bottom of the third, hitting a sac fly to center field to score Jimenez and tie the game 1-1.

Senior pitcher Tyler Peck pitched a scoreless top of the fourth to bring senior Alex Tsuruda up to the plate. The right fielder hit a leadoff single, followed by another single from fellow senior Tristan Kevitch to put runners on first and second with no outs. Sophomore Mack Cheli hit a sac bunt to move the runners up and bring freshman Miguel Cebedo up to bat. The rookie grounded out to the shortstop for the second out of the inning, but Tsuruda scored to give Chapman a 2-1 heading into the fifth inning.

A scoreless fifth and sixth innings brought the Gents up to bat in the top of the seventh. With a runner on third and one out, sophomore Chris Haggard singled to left center, scoring the runner and tying the game at 2-2.

Sophomore Nick Garcia pitched a tremendous couple of innings, earning his third victory and retiring every batter he faced in the eighth and ninth innings to keep the Panthers in the game. Jimenez and Shimabuku finished off the game in the bottom of the ninth to seal the victory.

Peck struck out seven and allowed no earned runs in five innings pitched.

The Panthers return home to Hart Park on Tuesday, March 12 as they host Ithaca College at 3 p.m.

by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant

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