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The Marauders won five of six games this week as the race for the PSAC East regular season crown has begun

The Millersville baseball team inched above .500 on the season this week by winning five of six games including three of four games against divisional opponent Bloomsburg.

To cap things off, sophomore second baseman Ryan McCormick was named PSAC East player of the week after going 12 of 24 with 12 runs and eight RBIs.  McCormick was also walked eight times and hit by a pitch twice, including multi-hit performances in five of eight games over the week.

Millersville hosted Bloomsburg in a doubleheader on Friday and won the first game in dramatic fashion before losing steam in the second game.

After freshman Chris Edgar hit a sacrifice fly that drove in senior Cody Wile in the bottom of the seventh inning, the game headed into extra innings.

In the bottom of the eighth, after McCormick drew a walk, junior Miles Gallagher blasted a two-run walk off home run for his fourth round-tripper of the season.

It marked his third hit of the game to go along with a double and a single, and gave the Marauders a winning tally of 7-5.

Millersville was able to pull away and close out the game in large part due to a stellar bullpen effort from freshman Keith Bires after he pitched three scoreless innings and earned the win.

The Marauders dropped the second game after a five-run third inning and seven-run fifth inning helped the Huskies split the doubleheader.

Millersville did not help themselves during the game after they committed four errors leading to three unearned runs for Bloomsburg.

The following day the Marauders traveled to Bloomsburg for yet another doubleheader against the Huskies, this time coming away with a sweep of both games.  Forrest Mengle pitched a complete game in the opener in which the only runs he yielded came in the last inning.  Mengle struck out six, walked one and surrendered only five hits in seven innings of work, improving his season record to 4-1 with an astounding 2.35 ERA.

The Marauders took over early in the first after sophomore Derek Kline connected for a two-run blast and the team did not look back from there.

Kline also made his first career start at pitcher and struggled during his first two innings before settling down to pitch through five innings.

Sophomore first baseman Derek Kline stretches to complete the out against Bloomsburg earlier this week. Photo by: Christian Shuts.
Sophomore first baseman Derek Kline stretches to complete the out against Bloomsburg earlier this week. Photo by: Christian Shuts.

Kline is normally the Marauders’ first baseman.

“Derek has a really strong arm and he gives us a chance to win any game,” senior Andrew Clemens said.

With Millersville holding onto a one-run lead after two innings, Gallagher belted a grand slam breaking the game open as the Marauders went on to an 11-5 victory.

Millersville played two more games the following day against the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia which resulted in another sweep for the Marauders giving them five wins in just three days.

“We have a lot of momentum now, it should carry us over into PSAC play,” Clemens said.

Freshman Kyle Belanchick tossed his first career complete game, which ended in a shutout, 9-0 in favor of the Marauders.  Belanchick struck out six and walked none, allowing only six hits through his seven innings of work.

McCormick crossed home plate three times during the game, and most of the offensive fire power was provided by Wile as he drove in four runs for the Marauders.  Millersville took the second game of the series with a score of 7-5.  Gallagher and freshman Chris Edgar provided the offensive firepower for Millersville as each homered and finished with four and three RBIs, respectively.

It was the third time in three days Gallagher put the ball over the fence for a home run Millersville will head to Shippensburg on Friday for another doubleheader in divisional matchup.

The team hopes that its recent success and current four-game winning streak will help propel them through their next few games.

“We expect to win games now,” Clements said. “we lost a few one run games at the beginning of the season, we just have to keep pulling out those close games.”