Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

The Golden Rams baseball team enjoyed the grand stage at Citizens Bank Park last Tuesday, beating Wilmington College 5-2 for their third straight Bill Giles invitational championship. The Rams jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the second inning when freshman outfielder Drew Pare grounded out to short which scored Dan Toner who walked.West Chester scored three runs in the third on a Toner double to deep center field. The hit scored junior first baseman Nate Guers, who doubled, and junior right fielder John Moleyneux, who was driven in by senior second baseman Mike LaRosa, following Molyneux?s single to right.

Coming into the game Toner was batting .293, with 24 hits and 19 RBIs. Molyneux also had his 12th stolen base of the year in the seventh. West Chester has won the Bill Giles championship three times in the five years of the tournament?s existence. Philadelphia University won the title in 2001 and 2002.

“It?s nice to win a championship of any kind,” said head coachMatt Brainard. Brainard was the head coach at Wilmington before taking over the West Chester job last fall. “He?s [Brainard] just laid back. He lets you play the game and gets on you when he needs to,” said Toner.

Wilmington showed signs of life in the fifth when first baseman Steve Speiese tripled to left scoring designated hitter Chris Brooks who had singled. Spiese then was brought home after left fielder Bryan Fitzgerald grounded out to short cutting the West Chester lead to two.

Junior pitcher Ben White led off with a walk in the seventh and was later brought home on a sacrifice fly by Guers. The Wildcats then surged in the ninth with a double from junior designated hitter Chris Brooks and a walk from junior first baseman Gary Wright. The two were left stranded though, after Matt Farina struck out Spiese to end the contest.

Wilmington used six pitchers in the ballgame, while West Chester used seven. “It?s a little bit difficult [to face that many pitchers] when you have guys with different speeds,” said Toner. Sophomore southpaw Frank Gailey came in to pitch in the top of the sixth and had a 1-2-3 inning, with two strikeouts and a groundout.

The Rams are now 24-7 after sweeping East Stroudsburg twice over the weekend, 4-0, 2-1 on Saturday, and 5-3,17-1 on Sunday. The Rams have won 13 straight and travel Tuesday to Newark to take on NJIT. First pitch is at 6pm.

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