Keeping up with athletes from the area in college
Ben Levitt (Chapman University baseball; Burbank High): The former Bulldogs pitcher helped the Panthers to a successful season and a berth in the NCAA Division III Championships.
Against Marietta College in an elimination game Tuesday morning, Levitt got the surprise start because of an injury to one of the Panthers’ starters.
The left-hander started the game strongly, hurling a one-hitter through the first four innings as Chapman jumped out to a 8-0 lead. However, he got into trouble in the fifth, as he was pulled after surrendering four runs.
The Panthers were able to win the game, 15-4, forcing a winner-take-all game later Tuesday against Marietta at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute, Wis.
Unfortunately for Chapman, it couldn’t claim the title, falling, 18-5, to the Pioneers.
Chapman kept its national-title hopes alive with a dramatic victory on Monday in the NCAA tournament. Freshman outfielder Adam Velez delivered the game-winning base hit to center field that plated Troy Newman with the winning run to keep the Panthers alive with a 3-2 win over Buena Vista University (Iowa).
Along with a 9-4 loss to Marietta, Chapman also earned wins against Wisconson-Whirewater, 4-2, and Kean University, 9-4, in the tournament.
The Panthers were trying to win their first national championship since 2003, and third in school history.
The Panthers (37-13) earned a spot in the tournament with a winning performance in regional play.
Down by a run, Chapman rallied and scored two runs in the ninth inning, capped by the game-winning RBI single by sophomore Tyler Surnbrock, to pull out an 8-7 victory over Linfield College on May 21 at Walt Driggers Field in Abeline, Texas.
With the win, the Panthers captured their sixth regional championship in the last seven seasons, and seventh overall under head Coach Tom Tereschuk.
Going into Tuesday’s games, Levitt, a junior relief pitcher, had a 2-1 record, two saves, 22 strikeouts and a 3.60 earned-run average in 13 appearances out of the bullpen.
Kerry Hodgins (University of New Mexico softball; Burroughs High): Hodgins, a former All-Area standout for the Indians, ended a successful season as a starting outfielder for the Lobos.
Hodgins also helped a resurgence in the program under first-year Coach Erica Beach.
Coming into the season, New Mexico lost 23 of its final 24 games of the 2010 season, ending the campaign with just 11 wins. This past season, however, the Lobos went 19-26 (5-10 in the Mountain West Conference).
Hodgins had a productive year, starting in all of the Lobos’ 45 games. Along with a .359 average (47 for 131), she also scored 20 runs, had 20 runs batted in and eight doubles.
Ginny English (Cal State Fullerton track and field; Burbank High): The 2006 All-Area Female Track and Field Athlete of the Year ended her career with the Titans with a third-place finish in the women’s pole vault at the Big West Track and Field Championships May 13 at UC Irvine.
A senior, English’s 11 feet-11 3/4 effort was good enough for third place. English placed fifth in the 2010 conference championships with a vault of 11 feet 10 3/4.
English was able to finish her collegiate career on a high note after she was sidelined after double knee surgery during her tenure at Cal State Fullerton.
Lilyana Morejon (Cal State Northridge track and field; Burroughs High): The senior took part in the NCAA West Regionals Thursday in Eugene, Ore., placing 27th in the women’s 10-kilometer race in 34 minutes 48 seconds.
Western Nelson (Cal State University San Marcos track and field; Burroughs High): The sophomore had fine showings Thursday in the National Assn. of Intercollegiate Athletics Championships in Marion, Ind. Along with placing 12th in the men’s 5-kilometer race in 14 minutes 46 seconds, he also finished 17th in the 10-k race in 31:04.