No. 12 West Chester University (30-7, 20-4 PSAC) was able to sweep both home and away double-headers against PSAC foe Mansfield University (20-26, 8-16 PSAC) and extend their winning steak to seven straight games.
In the home slate of the back-to-back double-headers versus Mansfield, the Rams were able sweep the twinbill versus the Mounties with scores of 5-4 and 4-0, respectively. Behind a third inning, two RBI home run from junior short stop Nick Ward in the first game and six scoreless innings pitched by right-handed senior Eric Close (4-2); in the second game, the Rams were able to capture the first two games of the four game series against Mansfield.
In game one at Serpico Field Friday, the purple and gold found themselves behind after allowing three runs in the top half of the third inning to fall behind 3-1. They were able to answer right back in the bottom half of the inning with Ward’s home run into right-center which scored right-fielder Robert Knox who went 3-3 at the plate in the first game.
Designated hitter Shane Dressler was also able to record an RBI in the bottom half of the third and capture the lead for the Rams with a score of 4-3 after the third. In the sixth inning they were able to tack on an additional run off a Clay Harwick – and able to maintain the lead for the 5-4 victory.
In game two of the home double-header sophomore left-fielder Drew Jarmuz led the way for West Ches- ter recording a forth inning two RBI double into left-center and scoring the final forth run in the sixth inning on a Nick Bateman scarifies fly into center on the way to a 4-0 victory. PSAC batting average leader with a .455 average, Dressler, continued his hot hitting going 2-3 with an RBI and run scored.
Although allowing eight hits to the Mounties, Close was able to pitch six scoreless innings for the Rams in route to his fourth victory on the season. Right-hander senior Josh McClain was able to come in for one inning of work in the seventh in a no save situation and strike out the first batter, fly out the following two and wrap up the second half of the home series with a victory.
In the first game of Saturday’s away double-header in Mansfield, West Chester’s bats came alive late in the game to explode for seven runs after falling behind 3-2 in the third inning to pull away for a 9-3 victory. Starter, right-handed junior Mike Cipolla (5-2) was able to pick up the win for the Rams in six innings of work.
First baseman Jared Melone, third baseman Anthony Salomone and Bateman all recorded three hits at the plate. Ward was able to bring in three RBIs for the purple and gold with a sixth inning three run home run into right field, while Melone was able to add one of his own in the same inning with a solo shot to left field.
During game two of Saturday’s double-header, West Chester was able to maintain a lead through out the entire seven innings of play behind five strong innings of pitching from senior right-handed starter Andrew Gernert (4-0) to come away with a 4-1 victory. Dressler recorded the only two earned runs for the Rams with a seventh inning two run home run to right to help but the purple and gold out of reach of the Mounties.
Melone and Dressler combined for four of West Chester’s nine hits in Saturday’s game two, both going 2-4 at the dish and each scoring a run. The Rams were able to capitalize on Mansfield’s two errors in the game and score two unearned runs to help propel the ball squad to their seventh straight victory.
Though surrendering five of Mansfield’s seven hits, Gernert was able to keep the Mounties from crossing home plate, besides a fifth inning single which was able to plate the opposing teams only run of the game. Righties McClain and Tim Edwards came on for the Rams after Gernert was taken out prior to the sixth, and were able to maintain the lead in the winning effort.
Tuesday, May 2, the West Chester baseball team will travel to New Castle, Del., for a single out of league game against Wilmington University. The Rams will travel back to West Chester Friday for the first half of back-to-back PSAC double-headers against Lock Haven University. They will wrap up PSAC and regular season play with the away half of the series to be played the following day, Saturday.
Maxwell Randolph can be reached at MR829829@wcupa.edu.