Last week was an eventful one for the WCU Baseball to say the least. On Tuesday, April 8, the team squared off against the University of the Sciences of Philadelphia (USP) in the Bill Giles Classic championship game at Citizen’s Bank Park. The Golden Rams walked away with a 7-6 win over USP. This win marked WCU’s fifth title in eight years of the classic and was the second time that the Golden Rams defeated USP in the classic.
WCU catcher Bob Stumpo drove in four runs and pitchers Mike Cope and Greg Ball combined to strike out 14 batters. Ball, a sophomore right-hander, earned his first win in a Golden Rams uniform and struck out 10 of the 14 total, while walking one. Cope had four strikeouts and walked four. Stumpo finished the game 2-for-5 with two doubles, which scored two runs apiece. Shortstop and leadoff-hitter Nick Spisak finished the day 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles. He also scored two runs and had three stolen bases.
On Friday, April 11, the Golden Rams played a double-header against PSAC rival Mansfield at WCU’s Serpico Stadium. The Rams dropped game one with a final score of 2-0. Mansfield’s Irvin Sleighter pitched seven innings, struck out two while walking none. WCU’s Chris Powl also pitched seven innings, in which he fanned three and walked none.
Mansfield centerfielder Chris Miller went 2-for-3 with 1 RBI. WCU’s Blair Dameron, Matt Cotellese and Stumpo each went 2-for-3.
In game two, the Golden Rams defeated Mansfield by a final score of 11-2. WCU pitcher Jason Bowman went seven innings, with two earned runs, six strikeouts and no walks. Mansfield used pitchers Eric Rosenberger, Zachary Ullrich and Joe Will. Rosenberger went 2.1 innings, with 9 earned runs, no strikeouts and one walk. Ullrich pitched 1.2 innings with 1 earned run, no strikeouts and no walks. Will went 2 innings, two strikeouts and a walk. WCU’s Spisak went 3-for-4 with 4 RBIs and Kevin McGrath went 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs.
The Golden Rams then traveled to Mansfield to play the PSAC rival in a second double-header, once again splitting the day. In game one, WCU walked away with a 13-6 win. Starting pitcher Dave Slusser pitched four innings and had five earned runs, three strikeouts and walked none. Eric Carmichael entered the game in the fifth inning. He pitched three innings, striking out three and walking none. Carmichael earned his fifth save of the year.
Stumpo performed well again by going 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs and two doubles. Second baseman Kyle Bechter went 2-for-4 with a homerun and 4 RBIs. Third baseman Kevin McGrath also went 2-for-4 with two homeruns and four RBIS.
In game two, WCU lost to Mansfield with a final score of 6-5. Starting pitcher Bret Moyer pitched 5.1 innings, with three earned runs, three strikeouts and four walks. Mansfield’s Tyler Noel pitched 7.1 with 4 earned runs, 7 walks and no strikeouts. WCU’s Bechter finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Stumpo went 1-for5 with a homerun, his second of the season. Mansfield’s Chris Miller and Tony Battisti each had a homerun and rightfielder Nick Grove finished the day 3-for-3 with an RBI.
After this past week, the Golden Rams stand at 33-6 overall, with a 8-4 PSAC record. This week they will face-off against Shippensburg and Bloomsburg at home and will play Bloomsburg this weekend on the road.
Chris Bashore is a fourth-year student majoring in political science. He can be reached at CB588901@wcupa.edu.