After a perfect 2-0 week just a week ago, the West Chester University baseball team continued their winning ways this week, going 5-1 in three pairs of doubleheaders that included Bloomsburg University and Mansfield University twice.
The Golden Rams opened up their busy week on Monday afternoon with a doubleheader versus the Huskies at home. WCU head a 5-1 lead through the first four innings of play, thanks to a pair of RBI’s from Bill Ford, along with Shane Dressler and Drew Diehl adding an RBI of their own. Nick Stallings nearly went the distance on the mound for WCU, staying in the game until Bloomsburg tried to complete the victory, climbing back from a 5-1 deficit to bring the score to 5-3. In the top of the seventh, Bloomsburg’s first two batters reached base, and Josh McClain was called on in relief of Stallings to attempt to close out the game for the Rams. After a wild pitch scored one for the Huskies to bring it to a 5-4 game, McClain was able to strand the tying run at third and close out game one for WCU with a 5-4 victory. Now riding a four-game winning streak, WCU kept the momentum going in game two versus Bloomsburg.
Diehl and Nick Ward started a WCU run in the third inning that broke the game wide open for the Golden Rams. A Justin Roman double brought home Diehl, and after Ward scored on a wild pitch, Justin Roman scored on a Dressler RBI single. A Nick Bateman two-RBI single followed up a double by Robert Knox to close out the scoring in the third for West Chester, putting them up 5-2 through three innings. Four consecutive singles in the fourth from Ward, Roman, Dressler and Joe Sheeran added two insurance runs, pushing the lead to 7-2 after four. Andrew Gernert went the distance on the mound to continue his undefeated record, giving up two runs on six hits in his complete game victory to complete the sweep of the Huskies.
WCU traveled to Mansfield on Friday afternoon for a doubleheader matchup. The Golden Rams wasted no time getting on the board, scoring five in the first inning, highlighted by a Dressler two-RBI double and a bases loaded triple by Anthony Salomone. The first inning set the pace for WCU as they went on to explode for eight more runs in the fourth, this pushing the lead to 14-2, before tacking on four more in the seventh for a 20-9 victory. All but two players in the Rams lineup successfully got a hit in game one, highlighted by three RBI games from Diehl, Dressler, Salomone and Sheeran. Bateman and Knox each added two RBIs of their own. Eric Close got the win on the mound, going six innings while allowing four runs on four hits and also struck out seven. Game two was a slightly different story, as Mansfield got the best of the Golden Rams in the second part of the doublheader. Mansfield tacked on three and six runs in the third and fourth innings respectively to break the game open to 9-3 after four innings. West Chester’s comeback bid fell short after scoring two in the seventh inning to bring the score to 9-6 as Mansfield claimed the victory for game two. Diehl hit his sixth home run of the year in a two-RBI game, while Roman added a pair of RBIs as well. Mike Cipolla suffered the loss on the mound, moving to 5-3 on the season.
WCU had the chance to avenge their game-two loss against Mansfield, less than 24 hours later at home, during another doubleheader matchup Saturday afternoon. Falling behind 3-1 after two-and-a-half innings, the Golden Rams tied things up in the third thanks to RBI singles from Knox and Bateman. Roman and Dressler added RBI doubles in the fourth, and along with a Mansfield throwing error, WCU gained a 6-3 edge through four innings. The Mounties responded in the top half of the fifth with two runs to make it a 6-5 game, but WCU responded back in the bottom half with three runs of their own, highlighted by another Roman double which brought home two for a 9-5 lead through five innings. Gernert picked up another win on the mound in the 10-5 victory, bringing his record to a perfect 5-0 on the season. Game two was a similar story; whenever Mansfield scored, the Golden Rams responded with runs of their own. Mansfield scored one run in the first and two in the second, and WCU reciprocated with one run in the first and two in the second. After Mansfield took a 3-2 after four innings, a two-RBI single by Bateman in the fifth gave the Rams a 4-3, and that proved to by all they would need to complete the sweep of the Mounties. Mike O’Neil picked up the game-two win on the mound for WCU, going five innings while allowing one run on four hits to go along with four strike outs.
With ten games remaining this season, the Golden Rams are closing out the season with a full head of steam. The top half of the lineup continues to lead the charge for the team, and a 7-2 nine game stint put the Golden Rams in a tie for second place in the PSAC East with East Stroudsburg. WCU could help its own cause at the end of the season, with four of the ten remaining games coming against the Warriors. WCU has a pair of doubleheaders this week against Lock Haven University on Friday and Saturday.
Dylan Harrison is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. Contact him DH785892@wcupa.edu