The Shippensburg University men’s baseball team started its 2017 season with three losses in a weekend series at No. 21 Catawba College. The Raiders scored 23 runs in three games but could not find a win.
The first game was a high scoring affair. The Raiders looked primed and ready on offense when Ty Painter launched a three-run home run in the second inning. Jake Kennedy followed with a two-run shot of his own in the next inning, putting SU up 5–2 early.
The early advantage quickly faded as the Catawba Indians scored 12 runs in the next four innings. The scoring barrage drove Shippensburg starter Mark Curtis out of the game in the fifth inning. Zach Amisano, Tyler Butcher and Zach Sims combined in relief to close out the game but could not keep the Indians down for a potential SU comeback.
The Raiders were down 14–6 with just six outs to work with but managed to put up seven runs in the eighth inning and make it a one run game. However, the Indians responded with four runs in the bottom half of the eighth and held off the Raiders in the ninth to lock up a Game 1 win.
Game 2 was much more closely contested than the first with the Raiders scoring three runs in early innings, courtesy of the long ball. Grant Hoover hit a solo-shot in the first and Jack Goertzen added a two-run homer in the third.
Going into the seventh inning, SU was down 5–3 but a sacrifice fly by Kennedy quickly made it a one-run game. Once again, the Raiders found themselves within one run late in the game but could not hold off the Indians offense. Catawba scored five runs on four home runs in the bottom of the seventh to spoil yet another SU comeback and secure an 11–4 win.
Starting pitcher Andy Crum took the loss in Game 2, allowing nine hits and five runs over the course of four innings. Jacob Menders pitched three innings of relief while Jack Jenkens and Aaron Cleveland combined to close out the ninth inning.
The Raiders had already dropped their first series of the 2017 season by the first pitch Sunday despite playing very well offensively. They would end up suffering another loss Sunday afternoon, completing a three-game sweep.
With two outs in the second, Catawba’s Malachi Hanes hit a triple to right field to keep the inning alive. Jackson Raper followed with a double to put the Indians on the board first. SU answered with their first run in the fourth inning. Dalton Hoiles stole second base and then scored on a Ty Painter double.
In the bottom half of the fourth, the Indians broke out with three runs to take a 4–1 lead. They would add to their lead with one run in the fifth and sixth inning, putting Catawba up 6–1. SU was able to fight back in the seventh when Cash Glatfelter drove in Jacob Pollock and Tommy Baggett on a double down the right field line. The Raiders would add one more in the eighth but ultimately fell short and lost the third and final game of the weekend, 6–4.
The Raiders will travel back to North Carolina next Saturday for a weekend series against Wingate College.