ORANGE — The Occidental College baseball team traveled to Chapman on Saturday to complete the first conference series of the season and split the afternoon doubleheader.
Game 1: Chapman 2, Occidental 1
Mitch Margolis (Calabasas) gave up just two earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched, the Oxy bullpen didn't allow a run the rest of the way and seven different Tigers got hits, but the Tigers fell for the second game in a row by one run to Chapman, 2-1, at Hart Park in Game 1.
Margolis retired the minimum nine batters in a row through the first three innings, striking out and inducing five groundouts.
The Tigers got off to a quick start as Scott Hong (Los Angeles) singled in the top of the first inning, stole second and scored on a double to left field by Riley Smith (Bellevue, Wash.) for what turned out be Oxy's only run. But the Tigers couldn't string together enough hits in the later innings to break through against the Panthers' starter Braden Riddle.
Chapman tied the game in the fourth, when Connor Battaglia singled in Greg Dillon and then took the lead in the sixth when Tyler Sunbrock singled in Dillon.
Riddle threw eight innings, allowing only one run and limiting Oxy bats to seven hits.
Game 2: Occidental 10, Chapman 6
In Game 2, Chapman jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning, but the Tigers responded immediately with a seven-run second inning that turned out to be decisive as they beat the Panthers 10-6.
Oxy took advantage of Chapman staff's shaky control in the inning. Pedro Aldape (Sherman Oaks) and Victor Munoz (La Verne) drew walks against Andrew Carbajal, and Chris Caldwell (Santa Clarita) singled to left field to load the bases for A.J. Libunao (Huntington Beach).
Ben Vietze immediately relieved Carbajal but he couldn't find the strike zone either. Libunao and Ericksen pushed across two runs when they were hit by pitches. Hong and Alec Strain (Sacramento) followed with a single and a sacrifice fly, respectively, to score two more, and the Tigers batted around as Aldape and Logan Allen (Atascadero) collected two more singles to plate three runs. In all, six Tigers recorded at least an RBI in the second inning.
CJ Maruyama (Danville), who gave up four runs in the first with only one of them earned, was solid the rest of the way. The freshman gave up two more unearned runs in the fourth and the sixth but each time, he managed induce groundball outs—including a double-play—to wiggle his way out of trouble. He allowed six hits and struck out three in five innings of work.
The Tigers tacked on a run each in the fourth, the sixth and the eighth innings with Strain driving in two of them.
Hong and Strain, Oxy's one-two hitters, combined to go 6 for 9 with four RBIs and three runs scored in the game. Hong added two stolen bases.
Oxy returns to action on March 2 when they face Claremont-Mudd-Scripps. The Tigers will travel to Claremont on Friday and return home to host the Stags for a doubleheader on Saturday.