Sat. Mar 25th, 2023

With winter entering the rearview mirror and spring just two weeks away, baseball season is here and the West Chester Golden Rams are back for the 2023 campaign.

Mike LaRosa is entering his third year at the helm for West Chester, compiling a 56–26 record over the course of the last two seasons. In 2022, the Golden Rams finished 36–15, making it all the way to a fourth place finish at the NCAA Division II National Championships.

The team has gotten off to a torrid start thus far as they look to return to postseason play. The Golden Rams have cruised to a 7–1 record as of Friday Mar. 3, while outscoring their opponents by a combined 10 runs (57–30). The Rams have won five straight, with their last loss coming in extra innings at the hands of Tiffin University in the first game of a doubleheader on Feb. 19. 

Pitching has been a strength for the Golden Rams so far this year, with their top four pitchers combining for a 2.02 ERA (Earned Run Average). David Ferguson, a redshirt freshman from Downingtown, has been efficient on the mound, pitching to a 0.64 ERA in two games (two starts). Andrew Cantwell, a junior from Broomall, has racked up two wins and has allowed only four runs in eleven innings pitched, good enough for a 1.74 ERA. Julian Costa, a redshirt freshman from Mantua, NJ, has yet to allow a run out of the bullpen this season. He has pitched five scoreless innings, striking out six and allowing just one hit, which has him at a team best 0.19 WHIP (Walks and Hits Per Innings Pitched). Costa has two saves on the campaign, which ties him with Gabe Rappa who has also yet to allow a run through two innings.

Offensively, senior first baseman Joe Kaleck, has impressed at the dish, tallying 12 hits including one home run in 30 at bats, good enough for a .400 Batting Average (as of Mar. 4). He has just one strikeout so far, which is a testament to his impressive plate vision. JR Gifford, a redshirt senior from Doylestown, leads the Golden Rams with 11 RBIs (Runs Batted In). He ranks second on the team behind Kaleck with a .355 Average.

As a team, West Chester has played well on both sides of the diamond and this shows in the teams’ combined statistics. The Golden Rams are batting .292, a respectable mark considering that the MLB league wide batting average hovers around .252. In the field, West Chester has committed eight errors through eight games for a fielding percentage of .970, compared to just .950 from their opponents.

West Chester began conference play this week with three games against Shippensburg University, one on Friday and two on Saturday. They will play over 40 games, most in doubleheader fashion, through Mid May as the team looks to make it back to the NCAA Division II National Championships for a second straight year. So far they have picked up where they left off last season, and will look to continue to prove that they are legit title contenders.

Erick Klambara Fourth Year MDC Major; Minor in Journalism

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