The West Chester University baseball team kept their recent hot streak going this week, completing a doubleheader sweep of Lock Haven University, improving their record to 7-1 in their last eight games.
The Golden Rams couldn’t have asked for a better start to game one against Lock Haven, scoring nine runs in the third inning to get out to an early 9-0 lead. The nine run, eight-hit inning was highlighted by a pair of RBIs by Joe Sheeran, Nick Ward and Shane Dressler.
The Bald Eagles plated two runs in the fourth, but those would be the only runs the Rams would allow in game one. Three more runs sprinkled in the fourth and sixth innings thanks to Tyler Coleman’s RBIs secured the 12-2 victory for WCU in game one.
The pitching combination of Nick Stallings and Mike O’Neill proved to be too much for Lock Haven. Stallings started the game and went three innings with five strikeouts while only allowing two hits. O’Neill finished the final four innings for West Chester, allowing three hits and one earned run bringing his record to 3-2 on the year.
Coleman, Ward and Anthony Salomone each garnered a 3-for-4 day with Coleman picking up a season high four RBIs. Ward, Dressler and Sheeran each had two RBIs in the WCU victory.
Game two was a much closer score than the lopsided 12-2 game one final. Lock Haven opened up a 5-2 in the fourth, and that was the end of WCU’s Eric Close’s day on the mound. Close went four innings while allowing five earn runs on five hits with four strikeouts.
After scoring one in the fifth inning, West Chester then knotted the game up in the bottom of the sixth inning at 6-6 with a Salomone two RBI double and a Mike Gannon RBI single. Josh McClain came into the game for the Rams to pitch the final four outs. With the game tied at 6-6 in the top of the final inning, Lock Haven took a one run lead thanks to an RBI double.
Dressler started the final inning rally for West Chester with a single. Nick Batemen then doubled, and the Golden Rams had runners on second and third with one out. After Coleman was hit by a pitch, the bases were loaded for Sheeran, who was pinch hitting for Clay Harwick. Sheeran sent a single through the left side of the infield, scoring the game-tying and game-winning runs to give West Chester the 8-7 walk-off victory. Salomone had three RBIs for the Golden Rams and the walk-off hero Sheeran had two RBIs in the victory.
The game two victory marked the fourth straight win for West Chester, who is getting hot at the perfect time of the season. With just eight games remaining in the regular season, the Golden Rams are currently sitting in third place in the PSAC East behind East Stroudsburg and Millersville with a record of 25-10 on the season.
The Warriors have two more games played than West Chester thanks to a doubleheader getting postponed for WCU. Their fate lies in their own hands; West Chester can pull back into a tie for second place with ESU if the Rams sweep Lock Haven on Sunday.
Four of the eight remaining games come against the Warriors, and if the Golden Rams continue their hot streak, they could find themselves as the two-seed heading into the PSAC tournament.
Dylan Harrison is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at DH785892@wcupa.edu.