The Shippensburg Baseball team opened their 2022 season this past weekend. The Raiders traveled down to Gastonia, North Carolina for a three game series against Belmont Abbey College (4-0).
The Crusaders struck first in the fourth inning off a Connor Tucker solo home run.
In the Raiders half of the fourth inning Juju Cason hit a homerun to right field to tie the game at one. In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Crusaders struck again as Ben Ferguson hit a homerun to deep center field giving the Crusaders a 2-1 lead.
In the eighth inning the Crusaders extended their lead to four runs. The scoring run started when Sean Johnson flew out to center field which allowed one run to score. Later in the inning, Ben Gobbel hit a home run to left field, which was followed by an Nic Aehlert two-run homerun to add to the lead.
In the top of the ninth the Raiders tried to close the gap as graduate Jordan Yoder hit a single to left field which allowed Cason to score, and the Raiders cut the lead down to 6-2. However, The Raiders fell to the Crusaders in the first game 6-2.
Redshirt Junior Nick Zegna got the start in game one of the series. Zegna pitched four innings for the Raiders. Zegna allowed seven hits and two runs and three walks and struck out three batters in the loss for the Raiders.
Jason White was on the mound for the Crusaders in the first game. White pitched six innings and allowed one run in the game.
On Saturday the teams played a double-header. In the first game the Crusaders got out to a big lead scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Sophomore Kaleb Sophy got the start for the first game of the double header for the Raiders. Sophy pitched three innings allowed five hits and allowed 12 runs.
In the second inning the Crusaders expanded their lead with three more runs in the inning. The Raiders offense continued to struggle only being able to produce three runs in the sixth and seventh innings. The Raiders fell in the first game of the double header 12-3.
Sophy pitched the first game of the double header for the Raiders. Sophy pitched three inning and allow 12 runs and five hits. Sophy struck out two batters and allowed four walks.
In the second game of the double header the Raiders struck first in the game when Cason scored on an error. In the bottom of the first, the Crusaders answered with four runs. The Crusaders extended their lead with an additional run in the bottom of the second.
The Crusaders continued to extend the lead with two runs in the fourth and fifth innings. In the seventh the Raiders responded with four runs in the seventh and eighth innings. It would not be enough as the Raiders dropped the second game of the double header 10-5.
In the second game of the double header Sophomore Gabe Stotler pitched four inning allowed nine hits and eight runs and struck out six.
The Raiders will return to the diamond on February 12, for a three game series in Salisbury, North Carolina against Catawba College.