Thu. Jun 13th, 2024

The West Chester University baseball team won their eighth straight game on Friday afternoon, defeating Shippensburg University, 4-3, in an exciting 11 inning contest. The Golden Rams played host to their non-divisional rival on a cold, windy afternoon at Serpico Field. The chilly temperatures were only a reminder that, while it might be spring, winter is not yet over. However, this did not matter to West Chester fans, whose support was in full swing through the end of the extra innings.

The Golden Rams got on the board early against Shippensburg in the first inning of the contest when WCU’s Matt Cotellese stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and hit a sacrifice fly to the outfield, scoring Nate Guers from third base. Shippensburg responded with some offense of their own in the top of the third inning, doubling down the line to score two runs and take the lead from the Rams, 2-1.

Shippensburg held onto their one-run lead until the bottom of the seventh inning when Guers hit a two out single that sneaked through the middle of the infield, scoring teammates Drew Pare and Kyle Bechter, giving the Golden Rams a 3-2 lead.

The tally remained the same entering the top of the ninth inning as West Chester’s pitcher Frank Gailey took the mound to finish out his complete game and defend his team’s lead. However, Shippensburg proved to be resilient, manufacturing the tying run after a series of hits that kept the game alive sending it to extra innings.

The contest remained a deadlock until the Golden Rams’ John Molyneux came off the bench and reached first base on an infield error in the bottom of the 11th. After stealing second base, the speedy Molyneux scored the winning run on a single hit to right field by West Chester’s Sean Bond.

David Slusser picked up his third win of the year for WCU after his two innings of relief. Slusser faced seven batters, giving up no runs, one hit and one walk, and improved his season record to 3-0. Gailey, who started the game for West Chester, did not receive a decision after throwing nine solid innings that held Shippensburg to only three runs (only one earned).

After starting the season 0-7, West Chester escaped an early season grave, winning 10 of their last 11 games. With Friday’s victory, the Golden Rams move within three games of divisional leader, East Stroudsburg University, at a record of 10-8.

The Golden Rams face IUP on Saturday when they travel to Indiana, Pennsylvania, for a double header against the Indians. WCU’s baseball team returns to Serpico Field on Sunday, March 26, against Philadelphia University. The game is scheduled to begin at 1:00 p.m.

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