The Shippensburg University baseball team battled Mansfield University in a four-game weekend series April 1-2. Each team won its games on its home field.
The Raiders dominated Game 1 from the first pitch of the ball game. The Raiders lit up Mansfield’s Tommy Alexander in the first inning, putting seven runs on the board early. The Raiders had five consecutive singles to open up the ball game. SU sent 12 batters to the plate in the opening frame, scoring seven. Nick Spangler hit a two-run single in the first inning.
The Raiders got enough offense early on to put this game away, but the pitching was still dominant. SU’s Mark Curtis cruised on the mound to easy an victory. Curtis allowed only one run on seven hits through six innings.
Curtis struck out five Mounties and walked none. After a short rain delay, Michael Hope came on for the Raiders to close the door on the seven-inning game.
Game 2 was closely contested early on, but the Raiders were able to open up the game in the fourth inning. The inning got underway with Austin Allison laying down a bunt and beating it out for a bunt-single. Allison then advanced to second base on a Mansfield throwing error.
Dalton Hoiles then stepped up to the plate and bunted Allison to third base before Spangler drove him in with an RBI single to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead. SU continued to increase its lead when Ryan McMillen launched a ball over the left field fence to put the Raiders up 3-0.
Three runs were more than enough for Marcus Shippey. Shippey scattered five hits in the game, allowing only one unearned run in the Raider victory. Shippey threw a complete game and struck out 10 Mounties in the win. Shippey needed just 91 pitches.
Shippey is the only Raider to throw multiple complete games this season. He has thrown seven complete games in his career, all of them coming after his freshman season. Shippey is 3-3 on the season for SU.
Game 3 was one to forget for the Raiders, dropping the contest 13-2. Grant Hoover was a bright spot for the Raiders, however, going 5-6 on Saturday with a double. Hoover picked up 10 hits in the weekend series.
The rest of the Raiders’ squad struggled in Game 3. Gabe Mosser started the game on the mound for the Raiders and he gave up three earned runs in two innings of work. Tyler Butcher did not fare much better, giving up eight earned runs in an inning and a third of work.
The Raiders fell behind and were unable to dig out of a big hole, losing the game 13-2.
The Raiders played a better game in Game 4, but SU was unable to come away with the victory. Sophomore Andy Crum started Game 4 on the mound for SU and he left the game in the fifth inning with the game tied 2-2. Mansfield had a strong sixth inning, plating four runs in the bottom half. Mansfield pushed across four runs on two RBI doubles and a two-run home run. Kyle McClintock came in and worked the Raiders out of the inning.
The Raiders hit well but were unable to push across runs on Saturday. Hoover had 10 hits on the weekend and Mike Marcinko and Allison both tallied six hits on the weekend.
After Game 4, The Raiders fell to 14-7 overall, with a 5-7 PSAC conference record.
The Raiders defeated Shepherd University on March 29, 7-4 when McClintock threw a solid game. McClintock held the Shepherd offense in check, limiting them to three runs in five innings pitched. McClintock also struck out five batters in the Raiders win.
SU currently is on pace to make a PSAC Tournament appearance this season. If the Raiders make the PSAC Tournament it will be the seventh time that the Raiders have made the conference tournament under current coach Matt Jones.
Millersville University currently leads the PSAC East Division with a record of 26-3, and a conference record of 10-2.
SU current sits in sixth place in the PSAC East Division. The Raiders will be back in action when they travel to Shepherd University on Tuesday, April 5.