Since their home opener, the West Chester Rams have been 14-5. Just over the halfway mark, the Rams remain undefeated at home.
Coming off a 21-6 win over the University of the Sciences, the Rams travelled to New Hampshire to face the Penmen of Southern New Hampshire University. The West Chester Rams went 2-0 in their double header against the Penmen.
In game one of the series, the Penmen tallied three runs with ten hits which was not enough to beat the 13 hit, five run Rams.
Game two was much of the same story. The No. 15 Rams defeated the No. 11 Penmen 11-1. During the top of the seventh, the Rams scored four runs off three errors from the Penmen. Freshman pitcher Zach Rice pitched into the seventh inning, allowing only one run on four hits. Junior Jared Melone lead the offense going 4-for-5 with a three-run home run in the fourth.
Coming off the sweep, the Rams traveled to Florida for D9 Sunshine State Games. The Rams went 5-1 on their travels to Florida. Going into their fifth game of the tournament on a seven-game winning streak that they hoped to continue. In game five of six, the Rams faced opponent Slippery Rock. With a slow start, the Rams picked up the speed in the fifth inning. Facing an 11-3 deficit, the Rams hoped to put some more runs on the board. With eight runs on seven hits, the Rams tied the game 11-11 in the top of the fifth inning. Three errors from Slippery Rock worked in favor of the Rams.
The Rams had another big inning in the eighth in which they added six more runs to the board. With a triple from senior Nick Ward, double from Senior Shane Dressler and a sac fly from Junior Franklin Ramirez, the Rams added six runs to their lead. With four more runs scored in the ninth, the Rams tallied another victory with a 24-15 win. Leading the offensive against the Rock was Ward, who went 3-for-5 with five runs scored and four RBIs.
The last game in Florida for the Rams was not the same story. The Rams took their first loss of the Florida trip to Northwood University with a final score of 5-1. West Chester had a season-low three hits in the match.
West Chester came back to Pennsylvania to face PSAC opponent Lock Haven University in a doubleheader. The No. 6 Rams were swept by Lock Haven. Despite the lost, Ward had a career high: five RBIs with two home runs.
In the second match, junior Jon Hansen hit his first career home run, which was the only run the Rams would put up. The Rams were unable to match the 15 run, 11 hit Bald Eagles.
Despite the loss, the Rams returned to their home field to face Chestnut Hill College. Although Chestnut Hill got an early start in the first, it was their only lead of the game. The Rams answered just as quick with Ward’s double in the first which scored freshman Justin Horn to tie the game. Junior Drew Jarmuz, junior Joey Coyle and Ward all had home runs against Chestnut Hill.
The Rams remained home to face another PSAC opponent East Stroudsburg University (ESU). West Chester came out swinging as they scored three runs in the bottom of the first. After a double from Horn, Melone hit an RBI single to send Horn home. On an error from the Warriors, two runs came home for the Rams. The Rams were quiet for the six following innings. The Warriors put up three runs in the fourth to tie the game up. The PSAC opponents had to go into extra innings.
Coyle hit an RBI single in the bottom of the eighth to send Hansen home and get the win for the purple and gold. Senior Zach Sheranko and Melone led the bats against the Warriors. Melone went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI. Sheranko went 1-for-4 with two RBIs.
In the second game of the series, Rice pitched a career-high seven strikeouts on the evening. In the field, catcher senior Bill Ford lead the team with eight putouts. Not far behind, Melone had seven and Horn had two and three assists.
On the offensive end Sheranko and Hansen came up on top again with Sheranko going 2-for-4 with two runs and three RBIs and Hansen leading the offensive end, going 3-for-4 with three runs and four RBIs.
The Rams faced PSAC opponent Shippensburg for four games across two days. Starting the four game series, the Rams traveled to Shippensburg for a double header.
The Rams went down 6-5 in their first match against the Raiders. Although the Rams held the advantage in hits, the Raiders had more runs to give them the win. Sophomore Joe Peluso had his first loss of the season against Shippensburg.
The Rams turned things around for their second game against the Raiders. With a 16 run off 16 hits, the Rams held the advantage. The Rams defeated the Raiders 16-2. Dressler lead the offense going 4-for-4 with three runs and five RBIs. This was a season-high hit for Dressler and tied the season-best runs scored. Although the Raiders managed to score off a two-run homer, reliever freshman Nick Picariello struck out two of the three final batters.
West Chester and the Raiders returned back to Serpico Field for another double-header. The West Chester Rams swept the Raiders at home.
For the first match of the Friday doubleheader, both teams went back and forth. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Rams came out on top. Going 2-for-4 with two runs, Horn lead the Rams offensively. On the mound, junior Jon Fisher struck out Shippensburg’s final two batters to keep the game at a 4-4 tie heading into the sixth. Fisher allowed just two hits and no runs for the two innings pitched.
In the final match of the four game series, the Raiders came out swinging. Shippensburg started with a 6-0 lead going into the bottom of the second. Luckily for the Rams, that was all the points the Raiders would score. Jarmuz put the Rams on the board with a two-run home run in the second. Jarmuz went 2-for-5 with two hits, one run and three RBIs. In the third inning, Horn hit a single which scored Ramirez to bring the score to 6-3. Melone and Dressler had back-to-back homers which tied the game for the Rams. It would remain tied until the bottom of the ninth when Jarmuz singled to right and Melone scored. The leading batters against the raiders were Horn, Hansen, Melone and Jarmuz. Both Horn and Hansen tallied three hits on the night while Melone and Jarmuz had two hits.
Junior Andrew Scarpelli got his first win of the year against the Raiders; it was a phenomenal performance on the mound with no runs, no hits and five strikeouts after 3.1 innings.
With a three-game win streak in their pockets, the Rams will travel to Millersville on April 13 to face the Marauders. They will have a double header at Cooper Park and return home for another doubleheader on Saturday.
Jordan Zimmerman is a first-year student with an undeclared major. ✉ JZ885480@wcupa.edu.