The Shippensburg University baseball team went 1-2 in its opening home series Saturday and Sunday against Le Moyne College, taking a commanding win in Game 1 before falling in Games 2 and 3.
Shippensburg (5-8) got off to a hot start in Game 1 when the offense exploded for nine runs in a 9-0 victory. Four of those runs came in the first inning alone.
Graduate student Zack Zoller starred on offense, going 4-for-4 and setting the school record for most doubles in a game (four). He also added two RBIs to his impressive stat line.
Behind him, sophomore Justin Darden launched the only home run of the game, a two-run shot. Junior Ben Werkheiser notched a triple that also plated two more runs.
Pitching was also a key component to the Raiders’ Game 1 victory. Senior Kyle Lysy pitched six scoreless innings, scattered six hits and struck out six as well. Freshman Austin Labarre would then keep the Le Moyne offense quiet for the final inning, sealing a 9-0 victory for the Raiders.
Game 2 would have a different outcome for SU, as the bats woke up for Le Moyne (7-4) and powered them to a 12-9 win over the Raiders. The Dolphins used dominant second and fourth innings to shatter the Raiders’ momentum.
Junior Scout Knotts was the bright spot for the Shippensburg offense, going 3-for-5 with three singles and three RBIs. Zoller kept a hot bat in Game 2, going 2-for-5 with a triple and two more RBIs. Werkheiser also knocked two more hits and plated one run.
Despite notching 16 hits and nine runs, it was still not enough support for the SU pitching staff.
It was a flip of the script for the Raiders’ pitching as they allowed a combined 12 runs on nine hits, while only striking out four batters.
Game 3 saw warmer weather but SU’s offense was colder and its pitching was shaky in a 10-5 defeat.
Le Moyne once again had momentum swinging in its favor early as it scored a combined eight runs in the second and third innings.
Senior Jacob Pollock had a solid day at the plate going 2-for-5 while driving in three runs, which counted for over half of the Raiders’ scoring output. Junior Chase Zurawski also notched two hits in four at-bats, plating one run. Werkheiser found himself on base three times; he had a double, a walk and was hit by a pitch.
Similar to Game 2, the Raiders’ pitching never found its groove.
Redshirt sophomore Kiernan Higgins struggled to find his control, as he allowed eight runs on eight hits and walked four in three innings of work. Redshirt sophomore Matt Ryan came in for relief as he pitched four innings, giving up two runs, while scattering three hits. He also notched four strikeouts.
The Raiders will look to get back on track next week as they travel to the University of Charleston, where they will play a four-game series that spans from Friday to Sunday.