The Shippensburg University baseball team stumbled out of the gates to begin its 2019 campaign, dropping all three games of its season-opening series against Catawba College in North Carolina this weekend.
Shippensburg (0-3) fell short in both games of Friday’s doubleheader, losing by scores of 13-1 and 4-3 despite strong starting pitching performances from a pair of Raiders.
Senior Zack Sims scattered eight hits over six solid innings in the opener, allowing just two earned runs. He struck out one batter and walked two. A throwing error by third baseman Justin Darden to begin the third inning resulted in four unearned runs coming across to score. The Raiders never were able to recover, losing the game 13-1.
SU got off to a hot start at the plate as senior Jack Goertzen hit a two-out solo home run in the top of the first to give the Raiders an early 1-0 lead. The senior catcher went on to have a solid day at the plate, going 4-for-7 with three RBIs and a walk.
Shippensburg got hits from six different players in the opener, including a double from senior Tommy Baggett.
Sophomore Dalton Oates was spectacular on the mound in the nightcap, striking out 10 over five innings of one-run ball. He allowed five hits and one walk as he gave the Raiders a chance in what remained a pitchers’ duel through five innings.
Oates even achieved a rare feat in in the third inning when he struck out four batters in one inning after one hitter reached base via a wild pitch after striking out.
Goertzen put SU up 2-1 in the top of the third with a two-out, two-run single up the middle. Then in the top of the sixth, Darden extended the lead to 3-1 with an RBI single of his own.
Catawba rallied in the bottom of the inning, however, taking the lead for good with a three-run inning of their own.
SU dropped Saturday’s series finale 7-1 after its bats went cold for the afternoon. An RBI groundout from junior Jacob Pollock gave the Raiders their lone run on the day. Freshman Lake Lloyd had a solid day at the plate, notching two hits.
Redshirt-sophomore Noah Inch got the start for Shippensburg, pitching four scoreless frames before exiting in the fifth. Inch struck out two and walked three in the outing.
The Raiders have the first half of the week off before they’re back in action Friday against conference rival West Chester in Colonial Heights, Virginia.