ORANGE, Calif. – With their second walk-off win the past three games, the Chapman University baseball team is headed to the NCAA Division III College World Series in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Panthers defeated Concordia University Texas 3-2 in thrilling fashion to punch their ticket to the World Series.
Chapman struck first in the bottom of the third when senior Jarod Penniman scored on a wild pitch. The Panthers added one more run in the sixth on another wild pitch to take a two-run lead.
The Tornados rallied in the eighth, scoring two runs on a bases-loaded walk and an RBI bunt to even the score heading into the bottom half of the inning. A couple of flyouts and a groundout from the Panthers brought sophomore Nick Garcia back out to the mound in the top of the ninth.
Garcia retired the side to bring junior Kevin Gregersen up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth. The designated hitter drew a walk to put the winning run on first with Penniman up to bat. The captain laid a perfect bunt down the third base line to advance pinch-runner Cooper Foard to second base. Freshman Drew Littwin flied out to put a second out on the board with junior Aaron Wong at the plate.
The stage was set for Wong. Two outs and a runner in scoring position. The junior fell behind 0-1 in the count after a foul ball. On the second pitch, he smacked a single to right center to bring Foard sliding home and send the Panthers into a dogpile with a walk-off Super Regional title.
Wong went a perfect 3-for-3 in the effort with the game-winning RBI. Senior Tyler Peck was lights-out on the mound for the Panthers, allowing just four hits while striking out eight batters in six innings. Garcia pitched the final three innings, striking out four batters while allowing just one hit.
The Panthers head to Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the 2019 Division III College World Series. They will play a double-elimination round starting on Friday, May 31.
by Katie Bell
Sports Information Assistant