In this week of play, No. 28 West Chester University baseball (15-6, 7-3 PSAC) came away from four games scheduled against PSAC opponents Shippensburg University (11-15- 1, 5-5 PSAC) and Millersville University (19-9, 5-5 PSAC) with a 2-2 record.
The weather once again played a factor in this week’s scheduling of games, with Friday’s away doubleheader scheduled to be played at Millersville University and Saturday’s doubleheader against the same Millersville squad both being pushed back a day. While Sunday’s home doubleheader against Shippensburg was originally scheduled for Saturday of last week, it was pushed back due to rain.
Finishing the home end of back-to-back doubleheaders against PSAC foe Shippensburg, the Rams dropped the first game with a 1-10 final score.
West Chester struggled to get any runs across home, despite getting eight hits at the plate, two less than Shippensburg. In a seven run second starting pitcher Mike Cipolla (1-2) gave up a grand-slam home run down the line off the bat of Shippensburg first baseman Jake Kennedy. The purple and gold were unable to fight back into the game, only being able to plate their solo run in the third off an Anthony Salomone solo home run.
The Rams came back in the second portion of the doubleheader and won 2-1 off a thrilling game-winning single to left field by West Chester right fielder Drew Jarmuz. With only one out in the bottom of the eighth, Jarmuz was able to plate first baseman Jared Melone from second base for the deciding run for the team. With the win, West Chester was able to split the four game in back-to-back doubleheaders against Shippensburg.
Senior right-hander Josh McClain (4-0) was able to pick up the victory for the Rams in three and a third innings of relief work, striking out two and giving up only three hits, coming in halfway through the fifth for starter Andrew Gernert. Gernert pitched strong for the purple and gold, striking out five and only surrendering one run on four hits, but got into trouble in the top half of the fifth after surrendering a Shippensburg run on a single through the left side that was able to plate the runner from second.
In Saturday’s doubleheader that was originally scheduled for Friday, the Rams travelled to Millersville where they were able to split the two games with final scores of 11-6 and 2-4, respectively.
Although falling behind by three runs in the first inning of game one, West Chester was able to battle back into the game and exploded for a six run sixth inning, which ended up being the deciding factor in the first half of the doubleheader.
Jarmuz left right off from last Sunday’s late game heroics, leading the way for the Rams going 3-4 with three runs, three RBIs and the first run for the purple and gold that began it all for the team with a solo home run over the left field fence. West Chester as a team was able to record 11 hits and three home runs from three different batters.
Sophomore righty Jon Fisher (3-1) was able to go six strong innings for the Rams to pick up the victory for the team, giving up five earned runs on only five hits while striking out three batters along the way. McClain came in for Fisher to close out the game in the seventh inning, only surrendering one run.
The second half of the away doubleheader was a completely different story for West Chester where they saw themselves one out away from being no-hit by Millersville right hander Tyler Yankosky. Jarmuz was able to break up the no-hitter bid with a two out double into right field to give the Rams their first hit of the game and move the pitch runner on first whom was put on by second baseman Joe Sheeran being hit by a pitch the at-bat prior.
Center fielder Nick Bateman was able to put the Rams on the board in the next at-bat with a two run single into right center, but West Chester’s comeback hopes were stopped two batters later on a fly out to right field to end the game in a 2-4 loss.
The West Chester baseball team will wrap up their back-to-back doubleheaders on Sunday, April 9 with the home portion of the games against Millersville.
The Rams will then be heading to Pomona, N.Y. on April 19 to take on Saint Thomas Aquinas College in out of league play, then travel to Kutztown on Friday to take on the Golden Bears in the away portion of the back-to-back PSAC doubleheaders with the home games scheduled for the following day, the Saturday before Easter.
Maxwell Randolph can be reached at MR829829@wcupa.edu.