Chapman rallies past Buena Vista
Velez's ninth inning RBI single leads Panthers to victory
Travis McGee had never thrown a complete game in his college career. Until Monday. That is when the sophomore pitcher went the distance for Chapman in a 3-2 victory against Buena Vista in the NCAA Division III Championships at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton, Wis.
McGee allowed two runs on nine hits and retired nine batters on strikeouts as he won his sixth game of the season and kept the ninth-ranked Panthers in the hunt for their first championship since 2003.
“It was an awesome effort,” Chapman head coach Tom Tereschuk said. “He did a great job and battled hard for nine innings. I felt like he was capable of throwing an entire game and I was pleased with his performance.”
McGee offered up a glimpse of his potential with the performance.
“He showed us what kind of pitcher he is capable of being,” Tereschuk said. “He has good velocity on his fastball and a great slider and he has a chance to be even better down the road.”
Chapman (36-12) was neck-and-neck with the Beavers (34-18) and found itself in a tied game heading into the ninth inning.
Enter Adam Velez, who had struggled throughout the tourney, going 1-for-18 before the clutch hit, was ready to rise to the occasion when it mattered most.
He ripped a one-out single to right field and brought Troy Newman across the plate for what would prove to be the game-winning run.
“It was a big hit, especially after he had rocket line drive to the pitcher with runners in scoring position in the seventh,” Tereschuk said. “It was nice to see him step up in that situation. We didn’t score a lot of runs, but we found a way to get the job done.”
Chapman finished with 10 hits and Mark Saatzer accounted for three of those hits. He also drove in a run in the seventh that tied the game at 2-2. James Parr tallied two hits, including a double, and knocked in a run as well.
Michael Hoffman cranked out two hits, including a run-scoring single in the first that put Buena Vista in front 1-0. Joe Paletta had an RBI-double in the sixth that gave the Beavers their final lead of the game at 2-1. Ryan Scheetz finished with two hits as well while James Stone took the loss in 1 2/3 innings of work.
Stone allowed one run on two hits and did not have a strikeout.
Chapman will now attempt to complete its dream of a championship on Tuesday. The Panthers will have to beat Marietta twice to win the title. Chapman lost 9-4 to the Etta Express in the second round of the tourney and Tereschuk said his team learned lessons from that experience.
“We played them tough most of the game,” Tereschuk said. “We know we are going to be up against a very talented and well-disciplined team. If we play smart and give a great effort, we’ll have a chance.”
Tereschuk said his team will play with no pressure. They are confident, without a doubt, and are not concerned with the challenge in front of them.
‘We feel good about the way we played,” Tereschuk said. “We fought back after that loss (to Marietta) and continued to play hard. We have had a great season and we’re looking forward to playing for the championship.”