Four Chapman baseball players hold up national championship trophy

Hank Zeisler, Tyler Peck, Joe Jimenez and Mason Collins (L to R) pose with the Division III National Championship trophy

The Chapman University Baseball team had an all-time great season, capped off by winning the Division III National Championship on Tuesday June 4 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. In the best-of-three championship series, the Panthers took down Birmingham-Southern College by winning both games played Tuesday. The baseball team has a strong contingent of Argyros School of Business and Economics students, with 24 ASBE majors on the team of 28 student-athletes.

The starting pitchers for both games in the championship series are ASBE alumni, with Tyler Peck and Mason Collins having graduated before the tournament began. Peck started the championship series going seven innings in the 6-4 game 1 victory, and Collins finished it off in game 2 with a complete game shutout of Birmingham-Southern. Collins is slated to continue his education at Chapman in the fall as an MBA student, while Peck was drafted Wednesday in the 28th round of the MLB Draft by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Full team on field celebrating national championship

Peck set a school record in strikeouts this season, leading all of Division III with 155. Additional accolades for ASBE student-athletes include American Baseball Coaches Association’s (ABCA) First Team All-American honors for Peck and Nick Garcia, First Team All-American honors for Peck and Garcia, and ABCA West Region honors for three pitchers: Pitcher of the Year to Peck, First Team honors to Garcia, and Second Team honors to Jonathan Hernandez.

Team gathered around lifted up national championship trophy

Eight Chapman athletes were named to the All-tournament team, with Hank Zeisler also being named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. The All-tournament team members from Chapman are: Joe Jimenez, Hank Zeisler, Aaron Wong, Brad Shimabuku, Jonathan Hernandez, Nick Garcia, Cody Turner and Mason Collins. Seven of the eight student-athletes are ASBE students.

Upon returning to Orange, the team was recognized on-stage during the annual Staff Appreciation Awards Ceremony in Musco Center, where they presented President Struppa with the trophy.

Members of the Chapman baseball team recognized at the Staff Appreciation Awards Ceremony (photo courtesy of Helen Norris)