As a Michael Douglas linedrive sizzled into left field, Dan Wimer and Cody Kulp raced home to give the Raiders a pivotal lead in a statement early-season series.
It was just another battle that SU overcame on its way to an impressive 9–2 start in the 2013 season.
Douglas’ two RBI zinger and a lockdown 3 2/3 performance by Austin Bartley sealed a 2–1 series victory for the Shippensburg University baseball team as it took the finale 4–3 against Slippery Rock University on Sunday afternoon at Fairchild Field.
Before the two RBI single, Douglas was having a game to forget in center field. Miscommunication between Douglas and Simon Beloff resulted in two pop flies giving Douglas fits in the fifth and sixth innings. The miscue in the top of the sixth proved to be costly.
With Kevin Jovanovich on third, SRU’s Brandon Myers smashed a Shawn Patterson offering toward the left center gap bounding off of Douglas’ glove as he came rushing toward Beloff. The ball caromed to the warning track, allowing Jovanovich to tie the game at two and Myers to slide in with a triple.
That incident, followed by a Jimmy Spanos error, ended Patterson’s day. The righty went 5 1/3 innings, striking out three and allowing three earned.
Bartley inherited a mess in the inning, and after an infield single scored Myers to make it a 3–2 game, Bartley forced Matt Curtis to ground into a 6–4–3 double play to end The Rock’s threat.
The Raiders held to a 1–2–3 inning in the bottom of the sixth, struck back in the seventh. Kulp laced an 0–1 fastball into left field beyond an outstretched Graeme Zaparzynski for an easy double. Wimer followed with a single of his own, setting the stage for Douglas.
Douglas blasted a 1–1 offering from Anton Constantino offering over the head of Jake Nogalo and into left field, scoring Wimer and Kulp — giving the Raiders a 4–3 lead they did not relinquish. Douglas finished the game 2-for-3 with three RBIs — his first RBI coming from a hit-and-run that scored Wimer in the bottom of the second.
From there, SU was on cruise control set to the speed of victory.
In the top of the eighth, Brandon Myers reached base after a Bartley fielding blunder. However Bartley recomposed himself and struck out Ryan LaRose on a 3–2 changeup while Tyler Shover threw out pinch runner Austin Benshadle in a strike-him-out-throw-him-out to end the inning.
Bartley closed out the ninth to pick up his first victory of the season.
Myers knocked in SRU’s first run in the top of the second as he clobbered a Patterson fastball to deep right for his second dinger of the season. Myers finished the game 1–3 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Tyler Shover had another good day at the dish going 2–4. Shover has now reached base in 10 straight games.
SU will be back in action next Saturday when it hosts Le Moyne College Dolphins in a twin-bill starting at noon at Fairchild Field. The Dolphins are 5–7 on the year.