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Baseball team looks for strong finish to regular season

Millersville’s baseball team competed in two games and had another one rained out, in what turned out to be a relatively quiet week for the Marauders.  The week off will no doubt help rest and prepare the team to take on the remainder of their schedule as they head into what could possibly be the most important week of their season.

Millersville hosted a doubleheader last Tuesday and took both games with scores of 11-2 and 5-4.  Three members of the team totaled three hits as the Marauders racked up a total of 15 hits against the Crimson Hawks as they cruised in the first game. Sophomore Derek Kline, freshman Michael DeSanto and junior Miles Gallagher each reached base safely three times and drove in at least one run during the route.  Scott Slembecker belted his fourth home run of the season as the Marauder offense did more than its share in the first game.  The pitchers in the first game also did their part in maintaining a large lead by allowing only two runs on six hits.  Freshman Kyle Belanchick won his third game after going for four and a third innings and allowing six hits, two earned runs and striking out four.  The second game would not go quite as smooth for the Marauders, but the feeling after the game was much the same after they pulled out a narrow victory.

With one out and runners on the corners of a tie game in the bottom of the seventh inning, Derek Kline laced a single, driving in Ryan McCormick for the games winning run.  Kline went 3 of 4 for the second consecutive game and drove in his only run with the walk off single. Sophomore McCormick also hit a solo home run and senior Andy Dochterman hit a two-run dinger in the same inning which accounted for all of the team’s RBIs that inning and had the Marauders ahead by a run.  But IUP did not go away silently after they added a run in the top of the fourth to help send the game into its fantastic finish. Junior Ryan Stauffer pitched three and a third innings to help settle down what had turned out to be a rocky start for the Marauders.  Freshman Keith Bires came in for the final out of the game and picked up his third win of the season, putting him at 3-0 on the year.

The Marauders were set to host Wilmington, Del. the following day but had the game rained out after just playing into the bottom of the second.  There was about an hour long rain delay before the game was finally called.  The teams will meet and make their originally scheduled matchup on April 21, a doubleheader, rather than play only one game that day.

The rainout provides the Marauders with nine days to rest up.  The Marauders’ next four games will be against East Stroudsburg on April 10 and the 11.

“[The rest] is positive and negative,” senior Lance Miller said. “it helps us recooperate but it can get us out of a groove.  But we have been doing a lot of intersquad scrimmaging to help.”

The two teams have not met yet this season but the Marauders currently sit three and half games against the Warriors in fourth place in the division which would be just enough to put Millersville in the postseason.  However, Millersville has played four less games than East Stroudsburg, so each game coming up is extremely important if they want to at least maintain the fourth spot in the PSAC East standings.  “If we can take two or three of the games we can definitely lock a spot in the playoffs,” Miller said.  The playoffs will be just the first step, but the Marauders must be wary and not overlook it.