|by Brent Harris • March 6, 2011|
Just hours after the Wabash baseball team's plane landed in Los Angeles, the Little Giants began their California Spring Break trip with a nine-inning game against the 17th-ranked Chapman University Panthers and 2010 Division III Pitcher of the Year Brian Rauh. Wabash took an early lead before falling 4-3 to the Panthers.
The Little Giants got to Rauh early, scoring in the first inning after Brian Lares led off the game with a walk. John Pennington's single moved Lares to second before eventually scoring on a groundout by John Holm. Chapman rallied for single runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings off starter Andrew Swart, who suffered his first loss of the season. Swart worked six innings, giving up just six hits and three runs while walking one and striking out three Panthers batters.
Chapman added a run in the eighth to take a 4-1 lead, but Wabash had a chance to draw even in the ninth. Facing reliever Kyle Tachibana, the Little Giants picked up two runs in the top of the ninth. Sophomore Montana Timmons led off the inning with a triple to right field, then scored on a single by Tanner Coggins. Trey Fankhauser came into the game as a pinch runner for Coggins, eventually scoring on an RBI single by PJ Tyson. Wabash had the tying run at second and the go-ahead run at first with two outs, but the Little Giants were unable to extend the rally, falling to 2-3 with the loss.
Pennington, Timmons, Coggins, Tyson, and David Seibel accounted for all five Wabash hits in the contest. Chapman (8-4) was held to seven hits in the game. Adam Kordich went 2-for-4 at the plate with an RBI, while Tyler Surnbrock was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
The two teams will face off again on Sunday at 1 p.m. (PST) in a schedule doubleheader.