The University of Redlands baseball team fell short in a pair of Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) contests on Saturday against No. 15/14 Chapman University in Orange.
To start the day, the Bulldogs held the nationally-ranked opponent in check with solid defense for the majority of the game. First-year pitcher Andrew Rueter (San Diego, CA) and company limited the Panthers to just two hits through five innings of action.
In the top of the sixth, Redlands jumped on the board for a slight 1-0 lead. First-year catcher Sammy Diaz (Palm Desert, CA) provided an infield hit and drew the error that allowed junior second baseman Andrew Renteria (Van Nuys, CA) to touch home.
However, the Panthers regrouped and secured the game in the seventh with big plays that led to a 4-1 advantage. Redlands did not go down without a fight and mustered a hit and a runner on second in each of the final two innings but neither could make it across.
Junior third baseman Anthony Acosta (Simi Valley, CA) led the opening game with a 3-for-5 performance at the plate. As a team, the Bulldogs out-hit the Panthers, 11-8, in the effort.
During the second game, the Bulldogs scored first for the third time in the series, with this run coming off Renteria's single that plated senior shortstop Aaron Singh (Anaheim, CA) in the top of the first.
But two runs from the Panthers in the bottom of the inning put them on top, 2-1.
Neither team gave an inch until Chapman homered in the fifth to take a 3-1 advantage. The defensive duel continued with 1-2-3 innings coming from both sides in the sixth and seventh frames. Acosta's double in the top of the eighth set him up to score on a sacrifice fly to cut the gap to 2-3.
Nonetheless, Chapman answered with a productive four-run inning in the bottom of the stanza to seal the victory.
Renteria finished the nightcap with two hits and an RBI.
Redlands (9-14-1, 3-6 SCIAC) returns home to take on non-conference foe MIT (MA) at the Yard on Wednesday, March 27, at 3 p.m.