Chapman Gets Even With Cal Lutheran, 6-2


The battle between Chapman and Cal Lutheran for Southland supremacy in NCAA Division III baseball is a draw--for now.

Chapman’s 6-2 victory at Hart Park in Orange Wednesday avenged a 6-0 loss at Cal Lutheran Tuesday, a two-game series that might have a postseason sequel.

Cal Lutheran (22-7) is top-ranked in the West Region and Chapman (18-10) is No. 2. If that order holds, Cal Lutheran probably would host Chapman in a five-game playoff series starting May 17.


Judging from the action the last two days, it would be a heated affair. Tuesday, the Kingsmen broke open a 1-0 game with three consecutive home runs in the eighth inning. Wednesday, Chapman got a wind-aided grand slam by Luis Garcia in the first inning and hung on.

Garcia’s hit looked like a routine fly to right-center when it left the bat, but swirling wind pushed it to left-center where it barely cleared the fence.

Cal Lutheran center fielder Adam Rauch said he would have easily caught the very-high fly if he could have got to it in time. “The thing practically grazed the back of the fence on the way down,” Rauch said. “It was a joke.”

The slam took some of the edge off Cal Lutheran’s dugout banter, but the Kingsmen fought back mightily. They scored runs in the fifth and sixth innings, cutting the margin to two runs.

But Chapman ace Josh LaRocca got the necessary outs and Chapman scored one in the sixth and one in the eighth for a more comfortable cushion. “We knew after Tuesday and the way they were chirping, it was going to be a dogfight,” said LaRocca, who gave up six hits in eight innings and improved to 6-2. “So this felt good.”