After a tough opening series, the Shippensburg University baseball team traveled to Wingate University, looking to reverse its fortunes.
The Raiders made the long bus ride from Wingate, North Carolina back to SU unhappy, dropping all three games in the series.
The Raiders started out the series on a rocky note, after the Bulldogs got on SU’s starter Mark Curtis in the early innings of the game.
Curtis struggled with his command and timely hitting by Wingate led to five runs in the first two innings for the Bulldogs. Curtis was eventually pulled in the second inning.
The Raiders trailed 5–1 heading into the fourth inning, where the offense began to find life.
Tommy Baggett led the charge, crushing a two-run home run over the left-center field wall to cut the Bulldog lead to 5–3.
Just two batters later, Nick Spangler joined in on the action, sending a home run over the right field wall to cut the Bulldog lead to just one.
The Raiders failed to muster anything else, falling in the game, 12–4.
The Raiders had a much better showing in Game 2, but were unable to get in the win column.
The Raiders got off to a hot start in the second inning, leading off the game with a two-run home run off the bat of Drew Bene, his third of the season.
In the third inning, Jake Kennedy extended the SU lead with a two-run single to left field, scoring Ryan McMillen and Nick Spangler to give SU a 4–1 cushion.
In the third inning, Wingate got to SU starter Andy Crum, pushing across five runs–three earned – with most of the damage coming on a three-run home run off the bat off Wingate catcher Andrew Llewellyn. The Bulldogs took a 5–4 lead after three.
The Raiders responded in the next half inning, picking up a run on a balk to tie the game. SU regained the lead in the fifth inning with a towering two-run home run off the bat of Kennedy, to give SU a 7–5 lead.
It was a marvelous day for Crum, who went 5 2/3 innings, giving up 10 hits, three walks and three earned runs while striking out five batters. Crum kept SU in the game before Michael Hope came on in relief.
Things did not go well for Hope, who faced Colby Barnette and Micah Goodwin of Wingate. Barnette started things with an RBI single to right field, before Goodwin crushed a 1-2 pitch well over the wall to give Wingate an 8–7 lead.
The Bulldogs would not squander the lead, taking Game 2, 8–7.
In the final game of the weekend, the Raiders struggled to find offense, dropping the final game of the three-game series, 3–1.
The teams found themselves in a pitching duel, with both starters combining for 14 innings pitched and 17 strikeouts.
For SU Gabe Mosser had a strong outing, going six innings, while giving up three hits and two earned runs while striking out 10 batters. Mosser’s 10-strikeout performance was the second of his career, with the first coming against Kutztown University where he struck out 13 batters.
Unfortunately for Mosser, the Raiders could not find offense, scoring their only run of the day on a line-drive home run off the bat of Dalton Hoiles. The Raiders led 1–0 going into the bottom of the sixth. Kennedy, Bene and Hoiles each had two-hit games but the Raiders could not push across any more runs.
Wingate added two runs in the sixth inning on an RBI-single and a sacrifice fly to take the lead, 2–1. The Bulldogs would add a third run in the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by Joseph Mason to pad the lead to 3–1.
The Raiders could not get the bats going and fell in the final game of the series, 3–1. SU, 0–6, will look to get in the win column on Saturday, March 1 when it hosts Southern New Hampshire University in a four-game series. SU will enjoy multiple home games before taking the road again March 25.