Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

After sweeping Kutztown last weekend, West Chester University baseball finally cracked the top ten in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association (NCBWA) for Division II baseball. With that being said, one would hope that the Golden Rams would not rest on their laurels and look to advance from the number eight spot they currently occupy.

They would not help their cause as they dropped both games of a double header on Thursday to Bloomsburg.

In game one of the double header, Bloomsburg put on a show, slaughtering West Chester 10-2. However, offense was not the big story in this one. Bloomsburg’s starter Casey Cooperman shut down West Chester’s offense as he went the distance en route to getting the win for his ball club. All of his hits allowed were singles except for the home run he surrendered to Justin Roman in the sixth inning. By that time it was too late for West Chester to stop the senior pitcher who had dominated them the entire day.

Cooperman went seven strong innings, allowing seven hits, two runs, and one walk. Cooperman struck out seven Golden Rams and induced two double plays.

Cooperman certainly received plenty of help from his offense as Bloomsburg scored in every inning except for the third and sixth innings. West Chester used three pitchers and not one of them made it past three innings on the hill.

Despite the tough loss in game one, West Chester was looking for that spark in game two. They would not get that spark.

Instead there would be more of the same as Bloomsburg once again shut down West Chester and took game two 5-1.

West Chester’s team captain Fred Breidenbach took the hill in the night cap. Breidenbach and Bloomsburg starter Tyler Hill would go inning for inning, as both starters went the distance for their ball clubs. Hill would get the best of Breidenbach as he followed up Cooperman’s performance with a complete game of his own. Needless to say, Bloomsburg’s bullpen was given an unofficial day off.

Hill’s line was seven innings pitched, while allowing six hits, one run, and three walks. He struck out only three, as most of his outs were recorded as fly outs and ground outs.

West Chester had opportunities to capitalize on offense, but failed to score as they left nine men on base in the game. They stranded three men in the top of the seventh as they looked to dig themselves out of a 5-1 hole at that point.

Despite the loss, Breidenbach threw a good game only giving up five runs, only three of them earned runs. “For me I believe the approach was quality all game,” said Breidenbach. “However, there were a few pitches execution-wise I would like to have back that would have helped minimize some damage especially with two outs.”

Breidenbach’s line was six innings pitched, five hits, five runs, and one walk. He struck out three batters in his loss which makes his record now 1-3.

West Chester certainly had their work cut out for them as they entered this game. Bloomsburg is a competitive school in the PSAC which means games like this past Thursday cannot happen often. The Golden Rams struggled in all facets of the game, whether it was pitching, offense, or defense. Head Coach Jad Prachniak stated earlier this season that there will be games like this, in which the offense struggles one day, and the defense the next, or both the offense and defense will struggle at the same time. It is all about consistency.

“Overall we have discussed putting together better at-bats and maximizing our opportunity,” said Breidenbach when asked about the offensive woes against Bloomsburg.

Hopefully this double head was just a bump in the road for a West Chester team that is looking to return to their 2012 Division II national championship form. Every great team sees ups and downs during the season, there is only one thing the Rams can do about this loss: learn from it.

West Chester will have another shot at evening the score with Bloomsburg on Monday afternoon starting at 1p.m. and 3p.m.

Michael Murphy is a first-year student majoring in communication studies. He can be reached at MM802071@wcupa.edu

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