Needing a win to stay afloat in the PSAC East standings, the Shippensburg University baseball team split its twin bill against Millersville University, dropping Game 1 2–1 before rallying back to take Game 2 7–6 on Saturday afternoon at Fairchild Field.
In Game 1, the Marauders’ offense was led in large part by junior first baseman Zach Stone who continued his hot streak by going 3-for-3. Stone got the ball rolling in the third inning when he hit a two-out double to right center-field scoring shortstop Tyler Orris to give MU a 1–0 lead.
As for the Raiders, they were held in check by the righty Chris Murphy until senior left fielder Simon Beloff gave the Raiders their first hit of the afternoon by doubling to right-field with one out in the fifth inning.
After Beloff advanced to third on a wild pitch, sophomore second baseman Jimmy Spanos doubled down the left-field line giving the Raiders back-to-back doubles and their first run of the game making the score even at one.
However, with one out in the top of the sixth inning, MU’s Stone took the first pitch of his third at-bat over the leftfield fence. Stone’s solo blast gave the Marauders the edge they needed as Murphy shut down the Raiders the rest of the way throwing 92 pitches in a complete game performance allowing one earned run on four hits while walking two and striking out four. The victory gave Murphy his eighth win, good for No. 2 in Division II.
Game 2 seemed to foreshadow another Marauder victory as MU second baseman Evan King drew a leadoff walk on four pitches from SU starter Nick Massetti. After stealing second base, King scored on a one-out double down the left-field line by Stone. Stone then scored on a single by senior right fielder Jeff Heisey giving the Marauders an early 2–0 lead.
However, junior center fielder Michael Douglas ignited the SU offense with a lead-off homerun driving the first pitch of the at bat over the left-field fence. The next pitch, junior third baseman Cal Hogan doubled to right center field and then scored when junior first baseman Pat Kregeloh doubled to left field. Kregeloh then scored on a wild pitch giving the Raiders a 4–2 lead after the first inning.
In the second inning, MU plated another run when Shippensburg native Jeremy Musser drove in King with a single. But, the Raiders were back at it again in the bottom of the second manufacturing two runs on a Hogan single to left-field, which scored Douglas and freshman shortstop Mike Marcinko.
Down 6–3 entering the third inning, MU mustered up a little wind in their sails following a costly fielding error which allowed MU first baseman Dan Johnson to advance to third on his single to right field. Johnson later scored on a sacrifice fly by junior center fielder Mark Stuckey. Then with two outs, sophomore third baseman Tyler McDonald singled up the middle setting up a two-run homerun by sophomore catcher David Pine.
The Raiders then scored the go-ahead run in the fourth inning after senior catcher Kyle Hollingsworth doubled to right field and then scored on a Hogan single.
SU fought off the persistent Marauders squad stranding two men on base in the sixth to hold onto the 7–6 lead to split the doubleheader.
The Raiders (18-12, 5-7 PSAC East) are now sitting fifth in the PSAC East standings while the Marauders (23-9, 7-1 PSAC East) are tied with West Chester for second place behind Kutztown University (22-5, 11-1 PSAC East).
The Raiders return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Wilmington University for a nonconference matchup before retuning home on Friday for a doubleheader against Bloomsburg University starting at 1 p.m.