WEST GOSHEN >> It would seem that on the cliff of a double-header sweep that would put the West Chester baseball team one giant step closer to winning at least a share of the PSAC East title, the Golden Rams faltered late at night and had to settle for an inexplicable split against at Serpica Stadium.
West Chester followed a solid 5-2 victory in the first game with a shock flurry in the second game that brought a fourth inning of seven races and put Reims on the team with a score of 9-2. But over the next three innings, things fell apart as WCU’s blows subsided and the serve and defense faltered.
This led to a mental failure with a score of 10-9, which is likely to cost the “Rams” part of the division’s crown.
“We’re just sloppy,” said senior baseman Mike Ferrara. “I think we got up (9-2) and mentally failed a bit.
“We have allowed this to get out of control. We had to win the game. “
Ranked 16th in the national rankings, the Rams now rank 16-7 in the division (28-10 overall) and lag behind Millersville, one of whom will play in the regular season. West Chester entered the day in a three-way tie for first place along with Marauders and Shippensburg.
“We just allowed one outcome,” said WCU head coach Mike Larosa. “Of the 10 runs, five were unearned. (Schippensburg) used our mistakes.
“After we kind of allowed this (9-2) slip, we tensed up a bit and started chasing the field outside the zone. We just didn’t follow our approach as well as we used to. “
The Rams ’regular season will end with one game in Schippensburg (16-7, 26-21) on Friday. The winner could get a share of the PSAC East title if Millersville (17-6) drops out on Friday with Mansfield.
“It’s hard. Our guys know the consequences of every game, ”LaRosa admitted. “But, truth be told, I think it might be good for us in the postseason.
“We want to participate in big games and there will be more and more pressure. So believe it or not, but I think the (second game) was a good loss. We can learn a lot from this. “
West Chester have already reached the PSAC playoffs and have won 11 of the last 13. The Rams looked set to win their ninth straight in a second game after a big fourth inning in which 10 hitters came out on top and six set hits.
The biggest was Homer with two Ferrari races, which made the score 9-2. But Jack Miles of WCU and Joe Cripple preceded it when chasing Raiders starter Caleb Sophie, in singles and doubles, respectively.
But the Rams didn’t work so well with any of the Raiders ’relics, who beat 11 beats in a row and gave only one combined blow to the last 19 beaters they faced.
Meanwhile, Schippensburg continued to connect to the plate, including four run rallies in the fourth and two more in the fifth. All six runs came with two outs and three West Chester errors.
Holding on to a 9-8 lead, the Rams then dropped the balance and failed in the sixth number, despite the fact that the Raiders were not hitting, but walking, hitting, stealing, two wild innings and another error.
Zach Wright started the ninth inning with a backup for West Chester, but he never got to third base.
“We played well for about three and a half innings,” Larosa said of the nightcap. “We put ourselves in a position at the end to equalize, and just didn’t get the timely hit that we did most of the season.
“To Schippenburg’s credit, they continued to fight from field to field.”
On the contrary, the game in one triumph was a textbook: a solid serve and timely strikes. In the first run Ferrara went, and in the second “Rams” added four more, including thanks to RBI double Sean Shestovitsky and killed Wright.
With a 5-0 lead, starting pitcher Braden Fausnaut allowed just two runs and four shots in four with extra innings, and then Lithuanian Dylan Havanitz completed the save, giving just one shot to the end of the road.
“In the game we win, we make our opponents earn their runs,” – said LaRosa. “We did it in the first game. In the second game, we just didn’t do it. “
A graduate student, Wright went 3 to 4 in the doubleheader, reached base six times and scored two goals. And in the second game he broke West Chester’s only steal score, making his 37th hit of the year. In the twin library Ferrara was 5-on-8 in the table and drove in five races.
“(Ferrara) was really closed,” Larosa said. “He made some good swings on the sword and that’s Mike. He’s such an advanced striker, and he’s coming up with a big hit after a big hit. “
Despite a big day at the plate, Ferrara wasn’t happy with his team waking up after lunch with a break.
“I don’t care how I do, I just hate to lose,” he said.
“We have to win (Friday), but it’s hard. We’re just going to move on to the PSAC tournament and then to the NCAA. We will take what is ours ”.
And then, to emphasize, he added: “We are not even close.”
West Chester 5, Schippensburg 2 (first game)
Schippensburg 001 010 0 – 2
West Chester 140,000 x – 5
WP – Fausnaught. LP – Zegna.
2B – S: Chronister. Toilet: Ferrara 2, Shestovitsky.
Schippensburg 10, West Chester 9 (second game)
West Chester 002 700 000 – 9
Schippensburg 200 422 00x – 10
WP – Stotler. LP – Laser.
2B – WC: Wright, Kalek, DeMuchi. C: Keysan, Werkheiser, Lloyd, Yoder. 3B – S: Yoder. HR – WC: Ferrara.