THE COLLEGES : Chapman Starts Baseball Season Today

The Chapman College baseball team will open the 1987 season today with a nonconference game against Cal State Fullerton at 2:30 p.m. at Titan Field.

The teams also will play Friday at 2:30 p.m. and Saturday at 1 p.m. at Fullerton.

Fullerton opened the season Tuesday, defeating Cal Poly Pomona, 5-1.

Chapman Coach Mike Weathers said his team will rely more on speed than power.

Among the top returning players this season are center fielder Bryan Beals, third baseman Tony Gardea and first baseman Chris Cutliff. Beals hit .333 last season with 33 steals, Gardea hit .335 with 5 home runs and Cutliff hit .279. Troy Barnhart, who hit .400 for Rancho Santiago last season, also will start in the outfield.

Chapman returns an experienced pitching staff led by senior right-hander Jeff Mooney (7-7 last season) and senior left-hander Jim Bennett (4-8). Sophomore left-hander David Bird (7-4) is expected to move from the bullpen to the starting rotation.

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