The Shippensburg University Raiders (11-16, 2-9 PSAC) struggled in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) competition against the defending national champion West Chester University Golden Rams (17-7, 6-4 PSAC), winning just Game 1 of a four-game series last week.
Game 1 on Thursday afternoon at Fairchild Field at SU was headlined by a dominant pair of seniors, pitcher Gabe Mosser and outfielder Dalton Hoiles.
Hoiles provided the heroics with a walk-off RBI single to give Shippensburg the 6-5 victory. He finished the game with two hits, including a double, two walks and an RBI.
Hoiles has been one of the Raiders’ best hitters this season. He is currently leading the team in doubles (12), home runs (5), RBI (19) and slugging percentage (.648) while also hitting .341.
The senior has always hit for a high average, but this season he has discovered some newfound power that has helped elevate his game to the next level. Hoiles has nearly surpassed his career-highs in both doubles and home runs in just 27 games thus far. The Raiders are going to need the senior to continue hitting at this high of a level for the rest of the season if they are to make it deep in the playoffs.
On the mound, Mosser pitched a complete game while striking out 10 West Chester batters. He gave up five runs, with only four of them being earned, while earning his fourth win of the season.
After getting off to a slow start to the season, Mosser quickly rebounded and has since been stellar on the mound for the Raiders. In his last four games, the senior has gone 3-1, allowing eight runs (six earned) in 26 innings. Mosser is currently 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA through seven games so far this season.
West Chester soundly defeated the Raiders in Game 2 on Thursday afternoon 16-2. It was an ugly game all around for Shippensburg, who gave up runs to the Golden Rams in each of the first four innings. However, the lone bright spot was a two-run homer by Hoiles, who is now fourth in the PSAC in home runs with five.
The two teams battled once again on Friday afternoon. Shippensburg provided the heroics in Game 1 on Thursday afternoon, but West Chester responded by providing their own heroics on Friday.
After falling behind 3-0, the Raiders slowly began getting back in the game. In the top of the fifth inning, Hoiles put SU in front 4-3 with a two-RBI double. However, West Chester responded in the bottom half of the inning, tying the game on an RBI double by junior Jared Melone. In the sixth inning, a fielding error by SU shortstop Cash Gladfelter resulted in the game-winning run for West Chester, who won the game 5-4.
The Raiders got off to a hot start in Friday’s nightcap, scoring runs in each of the first two innings.
Junior Drew Bene knocked in three runs in his first two at-bats, and junior Jack Goertzen added a three-run home run to increase SU’s lead to 6-0. However, things spiraled down from there.
West Chester got on the board with a two-run homer by junior Drew Jarmuz in the bottom half of the second. The Golden Rams then exploded for four runs in the third inning to tie the game at six.
SU had to go to the bullpen quickly in this game, relying on a strong effort from junior Michael Hope to keep them in the game. Hope made it through four solid innings, keeping the game tied up at six. However, West Chester finally got to him in the ninth inning, scoring the game-winning run on an RBI single by Jarmuz that crushed SU and gave the Golden Rams a 7-6 victory.
This was the first time that Hope had given up an earned run since his first appearance of the season, a gap that spanned 11 appearances out of the pen.
The Raiders return to action today as they host Shepherd University in a non-conference nine-inning game at Fairchild Field.