Chapman outlasts W&J in College World Series opener, 6-3

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa -- Chapman University scored the final three runs to break a tie and record a 6-3 victory over the Washington & Jefferson College baseball team in the opening game of the NCAA Division III College World at Perfect Game Field at Veterans Memorial Stadium in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. 
The win improves No. 6 Chapman to 39-11 overall, while the loss drops W&J's record to 37-12. The Panthers will face the winner of Friday's game between No. 23 UMass Boston and 18thranked Webster University. The Presidents will face the loser of the UMass Boston and Webster contest on Saturday at 10 a.m. CT/11 a.m. ET in an elimination game. 

After a scoreless first inning, Chapman tallied an unearned run in the bottom of the second to take an early 1-0 lead. Three consecutive Panthers reached base, as the designated home team took advantage of a two base throwing error to put runners at second and third with no outs. Mack Cheli followed with an RBI single to make the score 1-0. W&J starter Ben Marsico (Bradford Woods, Pa./North Allegheny) was able to limit the damage, getting an infield pop out before inducing an inning-ending double play. 

The Panthers added two more runs on three hits in the third inning to push their lead to 3-0. After one out, Chapman got the inning going with a double down the left field line. Brad Shimabuku followed with an RBI triple to deep right center. Tristan Kevitch tacked on an RBI single to score the Panthers' third run. 

The W&J bats remained quiet until the top of the sixth inning. The Presidents broke through with three runs on four hits to even the score at 3-3. Seniors Dante Dalesandro (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Lebanon) and Mullen Socha(Independence, Ohio/St. Ignatius) sparked the rally with back-to-back singles to start the frame. 
After a groundout advanced the runners to second and third, senior James Artale (Chagrin Falls, Ohio/Kenston) laced a two-run double to deep left center to score Dalesandro and Socha. Adam Moore (Olean, N.Y./Archbishop Walsh) would follow with a single through the left side to advance Artale to third and put runners on the corners. 
A sacrifice fly by Joey Bolick (Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland) scored Artale to tie the score at 3-3. 
Another defensive miscue, the third of the game for W&J, allowed Chapman to regain the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Panthers put runners on first and third with no outs. Marsico nearly worked out of the jam, getting a lineout and then a caught stealing by Justin Griffin (Lombard, Ill./Glenbard East). However, the Panthers used a two-out, two-strike RBI single to pull back in front. 

Chapman tacked on two additional insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to strengthen their lead. Down to their last three outs, Moore singled and Bolick walked to lead off the ninth for W&J. The Presidents had three chances with the potential tying run at the plate. However, Chapman's closer Nick Garcia retired the next three batters to end the game. 
Dalesandro and Moore finished with two hits apiece to pace the W&J offense. Despite a strong effort, Marsico took the loss to drop his record to 11-2 on the season. Marsico allowed four runs (two earned runs) on eight hits in 6.0 innings. Mitchell Taufer (Washington, Pa./Bishop Canevin) logged 1.2 innings in relief, allowing two earned runs. Henry Litman (Marietta, Ga./Walton) recorded the final out of the W&J bullpen.