Baseball: Chapman's gem keeps Jacobs perfect in FVC
Nathan Chapman's standout performance started well before he set foot on the mound Friday afternoon.
The Jacobs junior right-hander made certain he was approaching his start against Cary-Grove with the proper mental outlook.
"You have to get into this mindset," Chapman said. "If you're not in the correct mindset all the time, you're going to be up and down. I have an established routine, that helps out a lot. As I pitch better and better, my confidence goes up."
Chapman was in command all the way, striking out 10 and going the distance on 95 pitches as the Golden Eagles defeated C-G, 8-0, in their Fox Valley Conference game.
Chapman (2-1) allowed only six runners to reach base -- three on hits, three on walks -- and the Trojans (2-2, 2-2) never had two runners on at the same time and had no runner reach third base.
"(Chapman) was locked in today. He did a really good job," Eagles coach Jamie Murray said. "He works hard for this. There was never an inning when he threw a lot of pitches. Get ahead, stay ahead, pitch to contact, trust your defense. We did a good job."
Jacobs (9-3 4-0) played strong defense behind Chapman, who used mostly fastballs and had only three balls hit out of the infield, a fly ball in the first inning, Ryan Weaver's double in the first and another fly ball in the third. The Trojans' other two hits were infield hits.
"I executed my fastball really well today," Chapman said. "I was spotting it up. I could have thrown change-ups and curves, off-speed, but I didn't need to because my fastball was so effective.
"A big part of my offseason was developing my two-seam so I can challenge hitters and make them roll out. I like to keep it controlled and pitch my game."
Jacobs catcher Tyler Jacobsen enjoyed himself behind the plate.
"I knew from the start. He's been like this every time," Jacobsen said. "He's locked in. He was able to get his two-seam in on their hands and was able to paint the outside corner."
Chapman struck out the side in the second, with a walk, and had his only perfect inning in the fifth.
Jacobs jumped on top with two runs in the first as leadoff man Joey Fiorenza, who reached base all four times he was up, walked and Keegan Connors walked after him. Kyle Washington singled to score Fiorenza and Jack McMahon then scored Connors with a ground ball.
The Eagles scored in every inning except the third and seventh.
"I was on the books scouting them (in Thursday's 7-2 Jacobs victory)," Chapman said. "I really got to know what their hitters are like. I was more prepared going into today and I have trust in Tyler. We're on the same wavelength all the time."
Nathan Splitt, Jason Splitt and Weaver, C-G's top three hitters each had a hit.
"Statistically, we walked too many guys," Trojans coach Ryan Passaglia said. "We threw three guys that a week ago were playing football. I said, 'Keep it in perspective. I don't expect you to come out here and be on top of your games. It's going to be a slow process.'
Murray feels like his pitching staff has multiple aces, but hopes that Chapman feels like he is one.
"It's hard to put a name on (who is the ace)," Murray said. "We have a lot of good pitching. (Chapman) probably embraces that role and if he wants to embrace that, that's fine. I think they all feel like they're aces when they go out there and I like that."