The Shippensburg University baseball team (4-7) split four non-conference games against Le Moyne College (8-4) this weekend.
The Raiders got off to a rough start, dropping both of their games on Saturday afternoon. In the first game of the day, Le Moyne scored four runs in the top of the first before proceeding to never let go of that lead, eventually winning the game by a score of 11–1.
Senior Gabe Mosser opened up the game on the mound for SU, making it only four innings before getting pulled from the game after allowing six runs (five earned). Sophomore Jack Jenkens and redshirt-freshman Anthony Felitti, making his first appearance of the season, pitched in relief of Mosser in the blowout loss.
The second game of the day was much closer than the day’s opening game. Heading into the bottom of the third, SU was down 2–0. Senior Nick Spangler tied the game with a two-run single in the bottom half of the inning. Le Moyne put four more runs up on the board in the next five innings to take a 6–2 lead into the bottom of the eighth.
Senior Dalton Hoiles made the game closer with a two-run home run to left field. The Raiders were given some life heading into the final frame down 6–4.
SU began the bottom half of the ninth by getting two runners on base. After a sacrifice bunt moved both runners into scoring position, freshman Scout Knotts knocked one run in with a double into right field. Spangler then tied the game with an RBI-groundout, setting the scene for extra innings.
After a scoreless 10th inning, Le Moyne used a fielding error by Logan Williamson to get a runner on base.
A few batters later, that runner scored on a sacrifice fly from Ben Walsh, making it a 7–6 game. Le Moyne went on to add another run, to lead, 8–6. In the bottom half of the 11th, the Raiders were able to put up only one run on a sacrifice fly from Spangler.
Senior Andy Crum began the game on the mound for SU, giving up six runs (three earned) and striking out four in six innings. Junior Michael Hope was charged with his first loss of the season, after giving up two unearned runs while walking two and striking out three in two innings in relief.
It did not take long for SU to turn the page on Sunday.
In the bottom half of the second in the third game of the weekend, junior Jack Goertzen knocked in two runs with a double to left center field. After a few quiet innings, Le Moyne came back to take the lead with a three-run home run by Andrew Taft.
The Raiders never gave up, and in the bottom of the seventh, their efforts paid off. They went on to load the bases before cashing in for two runs. Junior Cash Gladfelter singled in the game-winning run and the Raiders earned their first win of the weekend, 4-3.
Sophomore Zack Sims received his second win of the season, pitching a complete game gem. Other than allowing a three-run homer in the fifth inning, Sims striked out seven and allowing only two hits.
The fourth and final game of the weekend was filled with offense, as the teams combined for 23 runs and 34 hits.
After both teams scored a run in the first, Le Moyne broke it open in the top of the second with a couple of RBI-singles and Taft’s second three-run homer of the weekend. Shippensburg starter Aaron Cleveland did not last through two innings. He was roughed up for five runs on five hits, although he did have five strikeouts as well.
The Raiders answered with two runs in the bottom of the second, although they were still down 6-3 going into the third. Le Moyne tacked on three more runs in the ensuing innings before Shippensburg’s bats came alive. SU played one base at a time as they totaled six runs on six hits between the fifth and sixth innings.
With the game now tied at 9, Le Moyne responded with a pair of solo home runs, one by Taft and the other by Nick Place, to take an 11-9 lead. To control the damage, the Raiders brought in Dalton Oates to close the door in the seventh and eighth innings.
In the bottom of the eighth, Hoiles hit a solo home run to make the game 11-10. Then, junior Tommy Baggett crushed a two-run home run to deep center field to give SU a 12-11 lead. In the ninth, SU chose Hope to close the game just a day after he was credited with a loss in the team’s 8-7 defeat. Hope redeemed himself with a perfect inning on the mound, recording his third save of the season and ensuring the four-game weekend split with Le Moyne.
On the weekend, Hoiles, Baggett and Knotts led the way from the plate. Hoiles went 5-for-12 with two home runs, a double and three RBIs. Knotts went 6-for-14, with many of his hits resulting in extra bases. He totaled three doubles and a triple while also knocking in two runs. Baggett, after somewhat struggling on Saturday, went 5-for-7 with a home run, a double and four RBIs on Sunday.
The Raiders’ next game is on the road on Saturday at Jefferson University.