West Chester University’s baseball team split doubleheaders with PSAC division opponents Millersville University and Kutztown University.In game one of a PSAC East baseball doubleheader Tuesday, April 6 at Serpico Stadium, Millersville managed to score four unearned runs in the top of the eighth inning to defeat the Golden Rams 9-5.
Carman Daddario (4-2) suffered the loss in relief, tossing 1.2 innings, walked one and struck out four, while giving up four hits. The Golden Rams committed two costly errors that led to the four unearned runs. This ended up being the difference in the game. The game was tied 3-3 in the seventh, when Millersville scored two runs on a double from Derek Kline and a single from Miles Gallagher.
WCU retaliated in the bottom half of the frame to force the contest to continue. Matt Baer hit a solo shot over off of MU reliever Zach Eckley. Later in the inning, pinch hitter Christian Cox singled home the tying run with two outs.
Kevin McGrath homered in the sixth to tie the game at 3-apiece. Kyle Orensky put WCU up 2-0 with a two run homerun in the first inning.
In game two of Tuesday’s PSAC games against Millersville the West Chester Golden Rams were able to avenge their game one loss by taking the nightcap 6-5. With game two’s win WCU has taken the season series with the Marauders three games to one.
Freshman phenom Fred Breidenbach (8-0) remains perfect as he picked up his eighth win of the season. Breidenbach threw 6.2 innings, allowing five runs on 10 hits, while walking three and striking out two. He gave up three early runs in the third inning when Millersville went ahead 3-2.
Over the next two innings Breidenbach sat down the next seven batters in a row, before MU’s Jeff Haisey led off the seventh with a home run. The Marauders scored another run in the seventh when Gallagher doubled in a run with two outs. Head Coach Mark Jackson then called on Jordan Lehman to get the final out of the game.
Saturday, April 10 the Golden Rams’ split a doubleheader with division rival Kutztown. Game one went WCU’s way by a score of 4-0, however, they dropped game two 8-2. Right-hander Jordan Lehman (4-0) pitched a complete game shutout in game one. It took until the top of the seventh inning for a single run to be scored by either team. Spisak singled up the middle to drive in the first run of the game.
Wendle followed with a two-run triple that would score Spisak. Orensky also had an RBI single in the seventh frame to give Lehman a much deserved win. Lehman gave up just six hits over his seven innings of work, while walking three and striking out six batters.
Kutztown won game two behind a strong effort from Kutztown pitcher Tyler Persun (3-0). KU scored four runs in the fifth and four more in the sixth inning to put the game out of reach. WCU had a two-run lead, but quickly saw that vanish. Shayne Houck hit a three-run homer in the fifth, his 13th of the season.
Dave Stieg (3-2) took the loss for WCU. He pitched all seven innings, allowing seven earned on 10 hits, while walking two and striking out two.
Recently, WCU has split doubleheaders with Millersville and Kutztown. Head Coach Mark Jackson stresses the importance of playing well, especially with the playoffs right around the corner.
“Our goal is to focus pitch by pitch each inning and each game of the season. This will also be the key when we get into the playoffs,” said Coach Jackson.
Second basemen Joe Wendle was honored by the ECAC in last week’s honors as the Division II player of the week. Wendle hit .550 for sixth-ranked
West Chester had a 4-1 week, including 10 RBI and seven runs scored from Wendle. He went a combined 10-for-16 with all 10 RBI and seven runs scored for the week coming in a four-game series against Mansfield. Wendle hit one home run, and also added a double against the Mountaineers. Thus far, Wendle is hitting .423 on the year and is leading the Golden Rams in hits. His 46 runs scored is second on the squad. In addition to his hitting, Wendle has 13 stolen bases and has only been caught stealing three times.
Overall, Mark Jackson’s Golden Rams are 28-7, with an impressive conference record of 14-4 thus far. At Serpico Stadium WCU is 12-2 and have won 19 of their last 23 games as they near the end of the season. WCU will travel to face Wilmington (Del.) on Thursday, April 15. Friday, April 16 the Golden Rams will visit Washington Adventist for a doubleheader in Takoma Park, Maryland.
Steven Fisher is a third-year student majoring in communications with a minor in Journalism. He can be reached at SF674180@wcupa.edu.