Kody Kibler earned the final three outs of the Shippensburg University baseball team’s 6-4 Game 2 victory at Mansfield on Sunday afternoon to earn his school-record setting 14th career save and force a doubleheader split with the Mountaineers. The Raiders dropped Game 1 by a score of 3-1.
Jimmy Miller earned the Game 2 start for Shippensburg and pitched five innings and gave up four runs on nine hits to run his record to 6-2. Nick Umberger then struck out two while pitching the sixth before Kibler forced back-to-back groundouts and struck out the final batter for the historic save.
Kibler surpasses Joe Darrenkamp and Tim Freisen who both had 13 saves in their careers with the Raiders. Kibler is now one save shy of tying the single-season school record that he shares with Freisen and Kevin Bensinger.
Pat Kregeloh threw a complete game in the opener, giving up just two earned runs off two hits in six innings while striking out four. The Raiders offense struggled to give Kregeloh run support, however, as Mansfield starter Joe Candelmo held SU to just four hits in a complete-game effort.
Simon Beloff went 3-for-7 on the day and scored SU’s lone run in Game 1. Junior catcher Tyler Shover drove in a run and scored twice on the day. Then, Dan Wimer hit a two-RBI single that kicked off a five-run fourth inning in the nightcap, while junior center fielder Cody Kulp and senior shortstop Ben Miller each added an RBI.
SU is now tied for second place in the division with Kutztown and Bloomsburg, as all three have 11-9 division records. The Raiders wrap up conference play next weekend with a series against East Stroudsburg, while the Golden Bears play Mansfield and the Huskies face off against West Chester.
In Game 1, the Mountaineers’ bats broke through in the third inning. After its two lead off batters walked and advanced a base on a sacrifice bunt, Dylan Woodworth drove them both home with a single up the middle. MU would add another run later in the inning off a Shippensburg fielding error to go up 3-0.
Through the first five innings, SU totaled just two hits off Candelmo. But the Raiders made a brief rally effort in the sixth. Beloff led off with a double to right center and moved to third after a single up the middle from junior Steve Sulcoski. Shover then hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score Beloff and cut the deficit to 3-1. But Candelmo then induced a line out and a fielder’s choice groundout to second base to end the SU threat.
In Game 2, the Raiders scored first, after Shover led off with a walk in the second inning and advanced to second on a bunt from junior third baseman Tyler Basso. Wimer then moved both base runners over with a sacrifice bunt before Ben Miller brought Shover home with an RBI groundout for a 1-0 SU lead.
SU then took command in the fourth with five runs on five hits and a Mansfield error. Shover and Basso each singled to kick off the inning before Wimer brought both base runners home with his two-run single through the right side. Wimer then moved to second on a Ben Miller single to right field.
Wimer and Ben Miller then scored off a throwing error from the Mansfield pitcher on a grounder from right fielder Eric Herman, who advanced to third on the play. Two batters later, Kulp grounded out to score Herman for a 6-0 Shippensburg lead.
But Mansfield answered in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead in half with three runs off of two doubles, two singles and a Shippensburg fielding error. MU then cut the lead to 6-4 with another run in the fifth before Umberger and Kibler combined to fan three in the final two innings.
The Raiders will return home for a 3:30 p.m. nine-inning contest Wednesday with Wilmington (Del.) from Fairchild Field.