Tue. May 17th, 2022

The West Chester baseball team secured the top seed in the PSAC East last week by taking three games of four from rival Bloomsburg.
After a bit of a stretch in which the offense was not clicking on all cylinders, the Rams’ bats exploded to score 29 runs in four games as they took the season series from the Huskies. The lone loss came in the second game of the four game set.
West Chester’s offense made a statement in the first game, led by senior Joe Wendle who put together one of the greatest offensive performances the school has ever seen. Wendle clubbed three home runs in the game (a solo, two-run and three-run home run), and finished the day 4-for-4 with 6 RBI and a stolen base.
Wendle’s feat is truly a historic one. Since West Chester baseball’s first season in 1889, only one other player (Drew Pare in 2007) has hit three home runs in a game. In addition, Wendle’s six runs batted in put him just one shy of the school record for RBI in a single game, which was also set by Pare in 2007.
Jordan Wlodarczyk , who is leading the team in hitting at .423, added a RBI single in the third, and a few batters later Matt Baer knocked in two more with a base it up the middle.
The Huskies almost mounted a comeback in the seventh when they scored five runs against the WCU bullpen, but fell one run short and lost the contest 9-8. Joe Gunkel was strong for the Rams, surrendering three runs on five hits in his six innings of work.
The momentum from the dramatic win continued on the next game, as WCU won 7-2 and swept the doublheader. It was their first doubleheader sweep in their last five twin bills.
Fred Breidenback got the nod for the Rams and put together a stellar performance on the hill. Breidenbach went the distance, limiting the Huskies to two runs on just four base hits. He also registered six strikeouts.
The Rams’ bats were quiet at first, but in the middle innings they took the lead and held it for good.
Jack Provine got things started in the fourth when he singled with the bases loaded, plating Josh Heyne and Wlodarczyk for West Chesters first two runs of the game. The bases were then reloaded when Wendle was intentionally walked, and Chris Pula made the Huskies pay. Pula smacked a triple to left-center field, scoring three runs and giving the Rams a 5-0 lead. Justin Lamborn and Mike both added RBI singles to add to the Rams solid offensive day.
Provine, Lamborn and Pula were a combined 6-for-12 with six RBI in the contest, and Reid Pulford was 4-for-4 with two runs scored.
Despite winning the first two games on the road, the Rams began their doubleheader at home on a bad note, dropping the first game to the Huskies by a score of 8-3.
Starting pitcher Dave Stieg was not sharp, and his ineffectiveness paired with a crucial error put West Chester in a deep hole early on. The Huskies scored twice in the second inning and once in the third, but the game was blown wide open by Bloomsburg in the fourth.
After getting the first out of the inning, Stieg allowed a base it, and the runner moved to second on an errant pickoff throw. After the runner scored on a fielder’s choice, Stieg gave up two straight singles to load the bases. He struck out the following batter, and induced a ground ballot shortstop that should have ended the inning.
Instead, Heyne made a fielding error, allowing two runs to score. The following batter doubled to left, plating two more Huskies’ runs before Dylan Porter came on in relief and ended the damage.
West Chester’s three runs came in the late innings when Raimo knocked in a run with Pula crushed a two-run home run to left.
Despite the tough loss at home in game 1, the Rams rebounded to win the second game by a score of 10-6. The win gave them the edge in the season series with Bloomsburg and secured them the top seed in the PSAC East playoffs.
West Chester’s offense was nowhere to be found for six of the seven innings played, but the one inning they did score in was more than enough to secure the win. In the fifth inning, with West Chester down 4-0, they rallied to score 10 runs on 10 hits, sending sixteen men to bat in the inning.
The inning started with a base hit from Raimo, and the bases were soon loaded after Provine doubled and Wendle, probably for good reason, was walked intentionally. Pula then singled, scoring one run, and that brought Lamborn up with the bases still loaded.
Lamborn, in one of the most clutch plays of the year, hit a grand slam to put the Rams up 5-4 with still no outs in the inning.
The attack continued after a couple base hits when Heyne knocked in a run with a single and then scored later on a throwing error. By then the score was 7-4 with two outs in the inning, but West Chester was not done.
Pula knocked in two more runs with a base hit, giving him an incredible eight RBI in the last three games as he continued his hot streak. Lamborn capped the monstrous inning with an RBI single, his fifth RBI of the inning.
All four Bloomsburg runs were let in by Jordan Lehman, who went four innings and struck out two batters.
The amazing come-from-behind victory improved the Rams to 32-9 on the season and clinched them the top seed in the East for the upcoming PSAC Tournament.
They played one more game Sunday against Philadelphia University to round out the regular season, then they will travel to Butler to begin the tournament. Their first game will be on May 2 at 12:30 p.m.
 Kenny Ayres is a second-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at KA739433@wcupa.edu.
 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.