Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Photo: Joe Kaleck. Photo by Danny Aguilar via wcupagoldenrams.com

Coming off of a promising NCAA tournament run in 2023, the Rams came out hot for their first games of the season. Last weekend, the West Chester University (WCU) baseball team dominated in Glenville, WV.. WCU defeated the University of Charleston 17–5 on Friday, Feb. 23rd, D’Youville University 14–10 on Saturday, Feb. 24th, and Glenville State University 14–4 on Sunday, Feb. 25th. Over the weekend, WCU scored 45 runs on 46 hits in 26 innings led by several upperclassmen including Joe Kaleck, Avery Spencer, John DeMucci and Anthony Boccio. 

This season, WCU baseball has an experienced roster with nine juniors, eight seniors and two graduate students. Golden Ram fans are hoping that the upperclassmen and head coach Mike LaRosa can bring WCU back to the NCAA tournament. LaRosa is entering his fourth season as the Head Coach at his alma mater. Last year, the Rams finished third in the PSAC East standings and made it to the championship of the PSAC tournament where they lost to Seton Hill. WCU finished 32–20 overall and 14–10 in PSAC play. In his past three years at WCU, LaRosa has a winning record of 88–46. Heading into the 2024 season, WCU has high expectations as they continue to climb the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Association (NCBWA) weekly Division II poll. After the outstanding weekend in West Virginia, the Rams sit at number 18 on the national rankings. 

Last season, John DeMucci led the team with a .345 batting average. Following behind was Evan Profy batting .329 and Joe Kaleck with a .322 average. Kaleck proved to be a key asset leading the team with 49 RBIs and 35 stolen bases. The two home run leaders, JR Gifford and Luke Cantwell, played their final game as Rams in 2023 so more players will have to step up to put runs on the board. Defensively, the Rams’ three go-to guys on the mound were Julian Costa, David Ferguson and Joe Sperone. Fortunately, all three pitchers are returning for the 2024 season. Costa had a 3.27 ERA followed by Ferguson’s 4.03 and Sperone’s 4.05. Costa finished his freshman season with 75 strikeouts, proving to be someone the Rams will look to count on in 2024. As a two-way player, Costa plays third base when not pitching and had a .286 batting average for the season. 

PSAC baseball is always competitive and this year will be no different. In the 2024 PSAC East preseason poll, WCU sits at second behind Millersville University. While MU lost some great hitters to graduation, most of their star pitchers are returning this season. The defending NCAA Atlantic Super Regional Champions will remain as WCU’s top rival. WCU’s first conference game is on March 8 at Kutztown University. Until then, the Rams will battle teams to prepare for conference play. 

 


Rebecca Arnold is a fourth-year English major with a minor in Journalism. RA953057@wcupa.edu

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