When your offense isn’t looking very sharp, you better rely on your starter to keep you in the ball game. This was the case for the Golden Rams, as they ended up beating Philadelphia University, with a final score of 4-1.
The Golden Rams’ starting pitcher, Fred Breidenbach threw a stellar game on the mound, and kept the Rams competitive while the offense looked to establish themselves. After cruising through the first two innings, Breidenbach would find trouble in the top of the third. Up to that point he had only allowed four hits. After allowing a double and then a single, Breidenbach was in a jam as he had runners on the corners. Philadelphia’s first baseman singled up the middle to tie the ball game up at 1-1. Breidenbach would get out of the inning after letting up another hit and then getting a fly-out to strand two of Philadelphia’s base runners.
Breidenbach would put the game on cruise control as he mowed down Philadelphia’s batters in the fourth and fifth innings. His final inning would not be as smooth. Philadelphia’s third baseman Garza led off the inning with a single. Breidenbach proceeded to get two fly outs before Garza stole second. Garza then advanced to third after a wild pitch. Philadelphia put themselves in the driver’s seat to get a rally started as they were down 3-1 at this point. Breidenbach kept his composure as he got the fly ball he needed to end the inning and his day on the mound.
Breidenbach gave up seven hits, one earned run, and no walks in six innings pitched. Only one of those hits was for extra bases.
“Breidenbach attacked the strike zone for the duration of his outing, which was key. He did a good job of mixing his pitches and making in game adjustments,” said head coach Jad Prachniak.
Ron Scull tried to do his best Breidenbach impression after his exit in the sixth inning. With a 4-1 lead entering the sixth, Scull just had to keep it close. His first inning was his toughest, as the first batter he faced reached base on a throwing error by the West Chester second baseman Rob Spekhardt. That play would quickly be made up for as the next Philadelphia batter grounded into a double play started by short stop Matt Petrizzi. After two more singles, Scull would get a ground out to end the top of the seventh. Scull’s next two innings would be a walk in the park. In the eighth after a single, Scull got another double play again. Scull would then get a ground out to end the eighth and get three consecutive outs in the ninth to seal the deal for the Rams.
Scull on gave up three hits and no runs in three innings of work on the hill.
“Scull was sharp in relief, he forces the opponent to swing the bat by consistently throwing strikes. He has a good demeanor to pitch in late game situations, he is even keeled and thrives in pressure situations” said Prachniak. Scull was credited for the save in this contest, while Breidenbach was credited with the win.
Even though the Rams were out hit in this contest, they still found ways to score runs. Third baseman Chris Pula was the spark for the offense as he went one-for-four with three RBI’s and a two-run homerun to left field. Pula started West Chester off in the first with an RBI ground out to the Philadelphia third baseman to make the game 1-0. Pula stepped up to the plate in bottom of the fourth with Petrizzi on first. He proceeded to rip a ball over the left field fence to extend the lead to 3-1. Pula was once again in the middle of the action in West Chester’s final score of the day. With Pula on second base, WCU first baseman Justin Roman tripled to left center as Pula came around to score from second base.
Despite being out hit, West Chester was able to get a hard fought victory on the road against Philadelphia University. “It was good to win a game with only two hits, Pula and Roman drove in runs in key spots, we had strong pitching and turned three key double plays, Petrizzi and Spekhardt did a nice job in the middle infield for us. Having the ability to win games in a variety of ways will help us over the course of the season” Prachniak said.
West Chester’s next game will be on Tuesday against Wilmington University in Wilmington, DE at 3 p.m.
Michael Murphy is a first-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at MM802071@wcupa.edu