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Cal Lutheran Heads to National Spotlight

College baseball: Kingsmen defeat Chapman, 5-2, to win regional and reach Division III World Series.

May 23, 1999|From Staff Reports

GEORGETOWN, Texas — Cal Lutheran advanced to the NCAA Division III baseball World Series for the second consecutive year by defeating Chapman College, 5-2, in the West Regional final on Saturday at Southwestern University.

Cal Lutheran (31-12) will play New York regional champion Cortland State (35-18) on Friday at 7 a.m. PDT in a first-round game in Salem, Va.

It will be the third series appearance in four years for Cal Lutheran.

The Kingsmen, who outslugged Chapman, 9-8, on Saturday to reach the championship game, used strong pitching and timely hitting to win the regional title.

Cal Lutheran lost to Chapman (39-5) in three of four regular-season meetings.

Adam Springston of Cal Lutheran scattered eight hits, struck out five, walked none and allowed two runs over 7 1/3 innings.

Wayne Mahaffey (3-2) replaced Springston with one out in the top of the eighth inning and snuffed out a Tiger rally. He loaded the bases with two out in the ninth before retiring Eric Albright on a fly ball to right fielder Rich Planich.

"Springston pitched a tremendous game in the 92-degree heat," said Coach Marty Slimak of Cal Lutheran. "His experience being in a [previous] regional tournament and being a senior really paid off."

Last season, Springston pitched two complete-game victories within a 46-hour span to help the Kingsmen reach the NCAA finals.

Against Chapman, Cal Lutheran took a 2-0 lead in the sixth inning on run-scoring singles by Eric Buben and Eric Medina.

Chapman rallied to tie the score, 2-2, in the eighth, chasing Springston with consecutive doubles by Domonek Prince, Adam Olow and Albright.

The Kingsmen regained the lead, 3-2, in the bottom of the inning when Buben's single scored Planich and chased starter Jeff Blitstein (13-1).

Medina greeted reliever Erik Maurer with a single that scored Brad Smith, who finished with three hits. Buben later scored on a wild pitch.

Pitcher Tom Canale of Cal Lutheran was selected the regional's most outstanding player, and Kingsmen Smith, Medina, Ryan Yoshiwara and Chris Tahan were selected to the all-tournament team.

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