By Jim Dixon
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Chapman pitching led the way in the Panthers second D-III College World Series title as Mason Collins shut out Birmingham-Southern 11-0 in the second game of the D3CS. Chapman won Game one 6-4.
"A dream come true," said Chapman head coach Scott Laverty. "It is my 20th year as a head coach and it is hard to get to the pinnacle. We faught and scratched to get to this point. To get the chance to play for is humbling. I am a little speechless and in awe that we finished this off."
"Hanan goes six innings, no hits," said BSC head coach Jan Weisberg. "We had a chance to win that second game but the bottom line is they played it cleaner. As hard as it is to say today, the better team won."
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The story of the final game started out to be Birmingham-Southern pitcher Hanan Mauldin. Mauldin pitched six no-hit innings until he was lifted in favor of Richie Misischia to start the seventh. The BSC offense could not provide him any runs as his counterpart for Chapman, Collins, was pitching zeros.
"I felt really good out there," said Mauldin. "I was throwing strikes. I was throwing the ball and made them hit it. Thats all I do and felt good out there."
"I was trying to keep the ball down as much as possible, to mix up the pitches and execute," said Collins. "I never have had so much focus in the game."
Chapman took advantage of two errors by the pitcher to get Jarod Penniman on second and Aaron Wong on first. A successful sacrifice bunt allowed a Drew Littwin sacrifice fly to bring home Penniman without ruining Mauldin's no hitter.
Once Mauldin left, the Chapman offense took over, making a tense 1-0 game through six innings to a blowout by the end of the ninth.
Chapman added two more runs in the seventh off Richie Misisichia. A walk to Henry Zeisler and a third error by the pitching staff put Joe Jimenez on. Brad Shimabuku, who missed most of the D3CS with an injury, was able to return to the lineup. His pitch hit single broke up the no-hitter and scored Zeisler. Penniman's fielders choice scored the third Chapman run.
"Watching them take parts in key moments was huge," said Shimabuku. "Having a back injury for the first game, I had my trainers help me get back into the game. I wanted to be that guy in the moment."
Chapman did all their damage in the eighth as they tacked on eight runs to blow the game open. Eleven batters came to the plate as Chapman had seven hits and put any chances of a late inning comeback by the Birmingham-Southern Panthers at zero. When the inning finished, BSC was put out 1-2-3 in the ninth and the Chapman celebration was on.
|Jarod Penniman's spikes grazed the bag to end a BSC threat in the sixth inning. His second-inning two-out single kick-started the Chapman offense.
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
Joe Jimenez's third-inning home run streaked to the short porch in left field as it skirted the foul pole and bounced off the picnic tables back on to the field. The big fly was the first one hit by a Chapman player in the World Series.
"I was feeling good," said Jimenez. "With the innings behind the dish, I could feel them in my body but I reset myself last night. I felt like I was due and had a good day."
Birmingham-Southern drew first blood with a run in the first. Brian Williams was hit by a pitch to open the frame and scored on Tyler Wise's triple. Tyler Hamel followed with a sacrifice fly to the the right fielder, plating Wise.
The BSC lead did not last long as Chapman responded with a two-run spot in the top of the second. Jimenez singled to open the frame and the BSC starter, John Michael Shirley, followed with two strikeouts. Penniman walked and an error on the third baseman allowed Wong to load the sacks. Alex Tsuruda's safety brought home Jimenez and Penniman for a 2-1 lead.
|Tyler Wise's triple scored Brian Williams and gave Birmingham-Southern their only lead of the day.
Photo by Larry Radloff, d3photography.com
Both teams traded runs in the third. Chapman got one on Jimenez's home run and scratched out one of their own. Williams, who entered the day with a .529 on-base percentage for the series, walked for the second time of the day. He advanced to second when Wise was hit by Tyler Peck. Hamel's drive to right scored Williams to draw within one run of Chapman's lead.
Following goose eggs in the fourth, Chapman added three in the fifth. Littwin doubled to left center and scored on Zeisler's first hit of the game. A safety by Jimenez and a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. After a flyout, Trevor Maars, with only his fourth hit of the season, knocked in both Zeisler and Jimenez to increase his RBI total to three on the season.
Birmingham-Southern added a single run in the fifth. Hamel line drive to right center found the turf for a leadoff double. He came around to score on and A.J. Hunt single to the cernterfielder.
BSC threatened in the eighth inning when their first two runners reached base. This ended Tyler Peck's day and head coach Scott Lavery brought in Nick Garcia, the Panthers closer. Garcia shut the door with a pair of strikeouts and a groundout to third.
Birmingham-Southern made it interesting in the ninth bringing the winning run to the plate. Luke DePiero singled and took second when a balk was accessed. Richie Misischa drew a walk and was erased by Cole Stedman's fielders choice, setting up runners on the corners. Williams hit a grounder that the shortstop leapt for and was unable to toss it to Aaron Wong covering before Steadman slid in safely into second. DePiero scored on the play, but that was all the scoring BSC could muster as Garcia closed the door and earn his 12th save of the season, his third of the tournament.
"It was phenomenal to have the offense do what they did today," said Garcia. "It helps when they keep pushing runs across for you."