ORANGE, Calif. – The Chapman University baseball team ended the season as the consensus No. 1 team in the nation and eight players were honored on the All-Tournament team following Chapman's national championship run.
The Panthers were voted to the top spot in both the NCBWA/D3baseball.com poll and the Collegiate Baseball poll, garnering every available first place vote. The Panthers were previously the highest ranked team to make the World Series and entered the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 team in the NCAA West Region rankings.
Several individual players were honored following the Panthers national title run that ended last Tuesday. Sophomore Henry Zeisler was named the Most Outstanding Player at the Division III World Series to headline the eight Panthers honored for their achievements. Zeisler led the Panthers with a .538 batting average in their seven games, including 14 hits, three doubles, five RBIs and 10 runs scored.
Starting pitchers Mason Collins and Jonathan Hernandez were also honored on the All-Tournament team. Hernandez made two starts in the World Series and picked up two wins to stay undefeated on the season. He tossed 15 innings in his two starts with a 3.60 ERA, 10 strikeouts and just one walk. He won the Panthers opener and pitched eight strong innings to help send the Panthers to the Championship Series. Collins overcame a tough first start to pitch a complete game shutout in the title-clinching game against Birmingham Southern. He struck out six and ended the tournament with a 3.00 ERA.
Both relief pitchers on the All-Tournament team came from the Panthers bullpen in sophomores Cody Turner and Nick Garcia. In seven innings that spanned over four appearances, Turner did not allow a run. He allowed just two hits as opponents hit just .091 against him. He walked four and struck out eight and picked up the win in the Panthers' elimination game against Washington & Jefferson. Garcia also made four appearances in relief, combining for eight innings. He pitched three perfect innings in an elimination game against UMass-Boston to pick up the extra innings win and made the save in each of his other three appearances, finishing the tournament with a 1.13 ERA.
Junior Joe Jimenez was praised for his work behind the plate all week at the World Series and smacked the Panthers' only home run of the tournament in the first game of the Championship Series. He scored five times and knocked in three runs while hitting .250. Classmate Aaron Wong came in to the tournament hot after the walkoff hit that clinched the Super Regionals. He continued to swing the bat well, hitting .346, and tied for the team lead with seven RBIs. His two-RBI triple against UMass-Boston gave the Panthers a 4-2 lead in the final elimination game.
Freshman Brad Shimabuku was the only freshman to be recognized on the All-Tournament team. He missed a game due to an injury but still hit .500 in 22 at-bats with two triples and seven RBIs. He drove in three in the title-clinching game against Birmingham Southern, including a no-hit busting RBI-single in the seventh inning. In the top of the next inning, he took away extra bases with a diving grab in the right center gap.
The Panthers won their second NCAA Division III national championship and the third national title in program history.
2019 NCAA Division III College World Series All-Tournament Team
Most Outstanding Player – 1B from Chapman University, So., Henry Zeisler
SP - from Chapman University, Sr., Mason Collins
SP - from Chapman University, Sr., Jonathan Hernandez
SP - from Heidelberg University, Jr., Trevor Adkins
SP - from Johns Hopkins University, Sr. Josh Hejka
RP - from Chapman University, So., Nick Garcia
RP - from Chapman University, So., Cody Turner
C - from Chapman University, Jr., Joe Jimenez
1B - from Chapman University, So., Henry Zeisler
2B - from Chapman University, Jr., Aaron Wong
3B - from Birmingham-Southern College, So., Brian Williams
SS - from Birmingham-Southern College, So., Alfredo Granier
OF – from Chapman University, Fr. Brad Shimabuku
OF – from Babson College, Jr., Jake Oliger
OF – from Johns Hopkins University, Graduate Student, Chris DeGiacomo
DH – from UMass Boston, Sr., Kyle Boudrias
By Steven Olveda
Sports Information Director