As the defending national champions, the West Chester Rams have much to prove this season. Coming off a 44-11 season, the Rams hope to match their winning season from last year. With that being said, there are many new talents to be showcased this season. The Rams hope to build a strong lineup to start the season off on the right foot.
The West Chester Rams started off their season by traveling to Virginia for the Division II Spring Baseball Tournament. Their season opener was against the Knights from The College of Saint Rose.
Junior Joey Coyle singled in the first. He advanced to second, third, and scored thanks to an error and a ground out from junior Jared Melone. Saint Rose answered at the bottom of the first inning with a home run from Powell.
Yet again the Knights were able to score off base hits, giving them a 2-1 advantage.
With little action, the score remained at 2-1 until the bottom of the sixth inning. With a few base hits, the Knights took the 3-1 lead over the Golden Rams.
Again in the eighth, the Knights scored with a game ending score of 4-1.
Although they fell to Saint Rose in their home opener, the Rams were able to bounce back as they faced their next opponent, the IUP Hawks. The Rams came out strong with a 3-0 lead at the end of the first inning. Outfielder Zach Sheranko doubled to drive in teammates senior Shane Dressler and junior Jared Melone. Next at bat sophomore Corey Webb also drove in a run with his RBI double.
In the second inning the Rams added another run, giving them a now 4-0 advantage. Freshman Justin Horn doubled and then scored off a single from Melone. The third inning was nothing less than rewarding for the Rams.
With a walk from Sheranko and base hits from freshman Christian Bateman, junior Collin McGeary, Horn, and Coyle, the Rams added four runs to their lead. The IUP Hawks were unable to answer for the third consecutive inning. A run was scored in the fourth inning.
With the Rams leading 9-0 going into the fifth inning, the Hawks hoped to get on the board.
First, however, the Rams were up to bat. After singling, senior Nick Ward reached home on a SAC fly from Sheranko. With two players on base, Webb singled and Melone scored bringing the lead to 11-0.
The IUP Hawks were able to get themselves on the board at the end of the fifth inning. Sophomore Chris Eisel doubled and eventually reached home from base hits.
At the top of the sixth, IUP walked in two runs for the Rams, giving the Rams a 13-1 advantage. The seventh and final inning was the only inning in which the Rams didn’t get on the board. The Hawks, however, added a run to their score with an RBI single. The final score against the IUP Hawks was 13-2.
The two teams would met again at 12 p.m. for a double-header.
The only run in this match was a solo home run from Sheranko in the second inning.
Freshman pitcher Zach Rice tallied three strikeouts, allowed zero walks and only one hit in his match against the Hawks.
The Rams swept the IUP Hawks in their matches at the Spring Baseball Tournament. Their final game of the tournament was against Saint Thomas Aquinas College with a 10 a.m. start time. Unfortunately for the Rams, this match didn’t go as well as their previous.
The Spartans of St. Thomas started off strong with a solo home run to give them a 1-0 advantage. In the following inning the Rams were able to get their points on the board. Their four run inning started with back to back RBI single from Horn and Webb knocking in Sheranko and Hansen. After a strikeout from Coyle, Ward adds another RBI single knocking in both Horn and Bateman.
There was no scoring until the bottom of the fourth with a RBI double from Ward. The Spartans answered with two runs in the fifth, four runs in both the sixth and ninth, and one run in the eighth. Although they were off to a good start, the final score did not lean in favor of West Chester. The final score of the match was 12-5.
The Rams returned home Wednesday, Feb. 28 for their home opener against the University of the Sciences. The West Chester Rams’ home opener had a final score of 21-6. The bottom of the fifth was the climax of the match between the Rams and the Devils. Although the Devils were unable to get on the board, the Rams scored eight points.
Drew Jarmuz started off the inning with a triple. He would later score thanks to a RBI single from Coyle. Coyle then headed home after an RBI single to right field from Ford. Melone followed up with a grand slam which knocked in four runs.
This was a crucial win for the Rams as this allowed them to advance to the Bill Giles Championship at Citizens Bank Park. The final two runs of the inning came in after an RBI and a wild pitch. Melone led the offense going 5-for-6 with four runs and seven RBIs. Jarmuz also went 4-for-5 on the afternoon.
West Chester will not see an opponent until Saturday, March 10 when they begin their travels to Florida. They will start by facing Seton Hill and five other opponents. After their Invitational in Florida, the Rams will head back home to face Wilmington University.
Jordan Zimmerman is a first-year student with an undeclared major. ✉ JZ885480@wcupa.edu.