With a sweep of the East Stroudsburg Warriors, the West Chester Golden Ram baseball team clinched the No. 2 seed in the PSAC East with two come-from behind victories on Saturday. The Golden Rams entered the game ranked No. 30 in Division II according to Collegiate Baseball. The two teams were scheduled to face off on Friday but the game was postponed a day due to heavy rain and poor field conditions.
Over the weekend, West Chester opened the four-game series against East Stroudsburg in need of a series split in order to sure up the No. 2 spot in the PSAC Championship tournament.
West Chester (28-11) fell behind the Warriors early by a score of 6-3 at Serpico Stadium, but put a six-spot on the board in the third inning. The Golden Rams expanded their lead, in the sixth, with seven runs and would eventually win 16-6.
Right-hander Chris Powl started the game and gave up all six of East Stroudsburg’s runs. All told, he pitched four innings, gave up nine hits and six runs, four earned. Powl earned the win, with help from Frank Gailey, who entered the game in relief and pitched the final three scoreless innings for the save.
Offensively, Kevin McGrath, Mark Gilliford, and Matt Cotellese had three runs batted in. All of Gilliford’s RBI’s came in the sixth inning on the only West Chester home run of the series.
In game two, West Chester openedup the first lead of the game in the fourth inning with four runs. After Drew Pare and Gilliford both flied out, West Chester put four runs on the board behind clutch hits from the bottom of their order with two outs.
Ryan Gerber started the game and pitched four scoreless innings but ran into trouble when he allowed the first three base runners to reach. Gerber was pulled before he could record an out in the fifth inning in relief of Jason Bowman. The Warriors scored five runs in the frame to take the lead 5-4.
In the bottom of the seventh, West Chester tied the game with Charlie Kelly’s RBI single. Three batters later, pinch hitter Bob Stumpo came to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs and delivered a walk-off single to right field.
Jason Bowman, who relieved Gerber and stopped the Warrior offensive attack, got the victory. It was his fifth of the year.
West Chester’s game on Sunday did not conclude before press time.
The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference baseball championship will take place May 2-5 at Slippery Rock. From there, West Chester could assure itself a bid in the North Atlantic Region Championship and potentially lock up a College World Series berth. Last year, West Chester reached the Division II College World Series for the first time in University history.