After losing two of three from Francis Marion, the West Chester University baseball team’s offense exploded in wins over Felician College and Philadelphia University.On Feb. 20th the Golden Rams lost their opening game of the doubleheader against Francis Marion 15-10. WCU was able to bounce back and take game two from FMU 12-5.
Freshman pitcher Fred Breidenbach (1-0) picked up his first win of the season in game two of the doubleheader. Breidenbach went 5 1/3 innings, allowing five runs on six hits. He walked just two while striking out one FMU batter. Dave Stieg earned the save; pitching 3 2/3 innings of shutout ball in relief. Stieg allowed four hits, struck out two and did not walk a batter.
In game one senior southpaw Eric Carmichael (0-1) took the loss. Francis Marion scored nine runs in the second inning and after two innings of play FMU led 11-3. Charlie Kelly hit a solo homerun in the fifth inning. Just two batters later, Bob Stumpo hit a two-run homerun to cut the deficit to six; however, that is as close as the Golden Rams’ would get.
Kelly displayed his power in the doubleheader as he hit two homeruns, including a three-run shot in the first inning of game two that got WCU out to an early lead. Also, in game two, Kelly contributed with five RBI that helped WCU come away with the victory.
On Feb. 21st Francis Marion University edged out West Chester University in the rubber game of a three-game weekend series 6-5 in 13 innings. FMU’s Josh Smith’s RBI single to right field with two out in the bottom of the 13th helped take two out of three from the Golden Rams.
West Chester came back and tied the game in the ninth with a two-run rally to send the game into extra innings. Francis Marion was able to get out of a no out bases loaded jam in the 12th and took full advantage of their opportunity in the 13th.
WCU’s third basemen Josh Heyne led the rally in the ninth with a walk from Patriot’s closer Brandon Forshee. A pitch then hit Kevin McGrath, putting runners on first and second. Shortstop Nick Spisak reached on an error, which advanced Heyne and McGrath one base each. Heyne later scored on a wild pitch, and McGrath would cross home plate to tie the game on an RBI groundout by Charlie Kelly.
On Feb. 26th West Chester outpitched and outhit their opponent Felician College in a 10-2 win. Felician pitchers had no answer for senior shortstop Nick Spisak. Spisak was 5-for-6 with three RBI. Kyle Orensky went 2-for-3 with three RBI as well.
Freshman pitcher Breidenbach got the win to improve his record to 2-0. He pitched five innings giving up just three hits and only one earned run. He walked two and struck out four. Joe Opalka pitched three shutout innings giving up just one hit. Jared Lehman was called on to pitch the ninth where he struck out one Felician batter.
After beating Felician College, WCU was scheduled to play Philadelphia University later that same night. WCU continued to swing hot bats as they trounced Philadelphia University 16-3. Matt Baer and Christian Cox each drove home four runs in last Friday night’s victory.
Overall Cox went 1-for3 with a double and sacrifice fly. Baer was 2-for-5 at the plate with a triple. Eric Carmichael picked up his first win of the season on the mound for the Golden Rams. He pitched five innings, allowing one run on four hits and striking out seven batters. Carmichael had complete command of his pitches, as he did not walk a single batter.
Ryan Kreider came on in relief and threw three innings. Kreider allowed two runs on one hit; he walked four and struck out four. Dan Doyle pitched the ninth, striking out two of the three batters he faced.
West Chester finally comes home to play host to Franklin and Marshall on March 3rd. The game will be played at Serpico Stadium, starting at 2:30 p.m. On Saturday and Sunder March 6th and 7th WCU has two doubleheaders against UMass-Lowell. Saturday and Sunday’s games at Serpico Stadium start at noon and 3:00 p.m.
Steven Fisher is a third-year student majoring in communications with a minor in Journalism. He can be reached at SF674180@wcupa.edu.