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Baseball team not catching anyone by surprise

It has already been somewhat of a streaky season for the men’s baseball team as they near the halfway point of their schedule.

After losing their first four to begin the season, the Marauders won their next four, then lost two of their next three, mixed in another three straight wins before losing their last five games.

The teams record currently stands at 8-11, including 0-4 in their conference in which all four of their losses came against West Chester.

After nearly a month and a half spent traveling back and forth to different schools in the South, Millersville is prepared to face the meat of their schedule in a much cooler climate.

Although the team’s record at this point in the season is a slight improvement from last season, it is still not quite where they had expected it to be at this point.

Last season the Marauders were the PSAC’s version of the Tampa Bay Rays.

After consecutive years at the bottom of the conference, the Marauders were a bit overlooked, but caught most teams by surprise and eventually won the PSAC East regular season title.

This year things are different.

The Marauders are no longer a team to be slept on and have been expecting an improvement from last year’s success.

While the team sits a few games below .500 they are not discouraged.

The early portion of the season’s non-conference schedule had the Marauders facing off against teams that had been playing outside in the warm weather long before the Marauders, who had most of their practices indoors.

Millersville also has other reasons to believe that they will be just fine as they head into the meat of their schedule.

Nearly a week ago, senior Cody Wile was named the PSAC East player of the week after he went 17 for 29 including five home runs and five doubles to go with 16 runs batted in just six games.

Senior Andrew Dochterman and sophomore Derek Kline have also been contributing with their bats as each holds batting averages above .300 with Dochterman hitting .314 and Kline batting .374.

Junior Forrest Mengle has a 3-1 record so far this season which leads all Marauder pitchers. Photo by: Gordon Beecroft.
Junior Forrest Mengle has a 3-1 record so far this season which leads all Marauder pitchers. Photo by: Gordon Beecroft.

Between the two of them they have contributed five home runs and 28 runs batted in.

“Our middle of the lineup has been hitting consistently, they’ve got the bats going pretty well right now,” Head Coach Jon Shehan said.

Junior starting pitcher Forrest Mengle has proven to be the most consistent pitcher thus far in the season for the Marauders with 3-1 record in five starts.

Mengle has struck out 17 in 23.2 innings of work while holding opponents to just a .236 batting average.

Millersville will be looking for more contributions as the season progresses from their pitching staff.

Although their production has not been poor, it has also not been as good as they had hoped.

As the season continues to move forward and players arms begin to wear down some, strong outings from their pitchers will become more and more valuable.

“We’ve got to work down in the zone more.  With aluminum bats even pitches high in the strike zone can be fisted over the infielders heads,” Shehan said.

The outlook for the rest of the season is looking bright for the Marauders as their younger players continue to gain experience for the rest of the season.

The team will seek improvement as the season progresses and they certainly have the right character to bring about those changes.

Millersville continues their season with two double-headers against Bloomsburg. ?They play at Millersville on Friday and travel to Bloomsburg on Saturday.

Bloomsburg is currently 9-8 and 1-1 against the PSAC.

They follow that up with a double-header against University of the Sciences of Philadelphia at home on Sunday.

“They [the players] have a lot of fight.  They’re going into every game and are prepared to face each contest as a battle,” Shehan said.

Hopefully for Millersville they will continue to come out on the winning end of each of those battles.