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Baseball wins three key conference games

The Marauders went into last weekend looking to overcome their recent struggles, and came out with three key conference wins over Bloomsburg. Going into the match up against Bloomsburg, the Marauders only had two wins in their last 12 games. The wins over the weekend also helped push the Marauders above Bloomsburg in the PSAC East division standings.

The wins did not come easy for the Marauders, and they found themselves having to go to extra innings in game one to finally pull out a win. Millersville was led by ace pitching from senior Forrest Mengle who threw a complete game and only gave up one run on four hits and a walk. Mengle also struck out three in his eight innings on the mound. Mengle was also named PSAC pitcher of the week.

The game remained scoreless until Millersville’s half of the fourth inning when junior Ryan McCormick singled to right field. Next up was senior Miles Gallagher, who reached on a fielder’s choice and advanced McCormick to second. McCormick would tag up on the next at bat by junior Derek Kline, who flied out to center field. McCormick would score on the next hit by sophomore Chris Edger.

Millersville’s slight lead would vanish in the next inning with Bloomsburg able to match the run. Bloomsburg’s Devin McLaughlin reached on a throwing error from senior Kent Gerdes. McLaughlin would score an unearned run on a double from Joey Ianiero to tie the game back up at one run each.

Millersville would end the game in dramatic fashion. In the bottom of the eighth inning Gerdes led off the inning with a key double down the right field line. The next batter, sophomore Mike DeSanto, was hit by a pitch. McCormick put down a sacrifice bunt down the third base line and everyone was able to beat it out. Gallagher would follow with a perfectly executed suicide squeeze with Gerdes able to score the winning run for the Marauders.

In game two, Millersville faced another close game, but was able to once again sneak in another close win against Bloomsburg. With the sweep of the double-header on Saturday, Millersville was able to bring their home record to an even 3-3.

Unlike game one, the runs in game two came early in the game. In the first, Bloomsburg was able to jump out to an early 1-0 lead. However, Millersville was able to respond with three runs of their own, giving them a 3-1 lead going into the second.

Millersville would add one more run in the bottom half of the second inning on an RBI single by Kline to score McCormick from second. That would be the end of the scoring for Millersville, but thanks to clutch pitching the team was able to hold on to their lead to finish the game with a score of 4-3.

Millersville finished the four game series by traveling to Bloomsburg on Sunday to play another double-header. Millersville has struggled on the road this season, but the team was able to pull out a split of the double-header.

Bloomsburg had the momentum in game one and were able to hold off the Marauders with a final score of 2-1.

Bloomsburg scored both of their runs in the first inning on a two-run home run by Jerry Lloyd after Chris Tessler reached on an error. Millersville responded in the third inning when Gallagher would hit a home run of his own, his fifth of the season, but it would not be enough to come away with the win.

In game two Millersville was able to come through with a win to split the double-header. The Marauders struck early in the game, scoring three runs in the first inning. Kline hit a two RBI double that scored McCormick and Gallagher. Kline scored on a single from sophomore Adam Boyd.

Millersville crossed the plate two more times in the fourth inning on a double from Gerdes, which scored Boyd. Gerdes then advanced to third and then scored on a wild pitch. This was all Millersville needed as they went on to win the game 5-3.

Millersville sent senior Ryan Stauffer to the mound to pitch in game two. Stauffer threw a complete game with 12 hits, three runs, two earned runs, and five strike outs. Stauffer now has an ERA of 2.93 and has a record of 3-1.

Millersville will take on Shippensburg this Friday at home and again on Saturday away at Shippensburg. Shipp is 4-2 in conference play this season and should set up an interesting match up for the Marauders. On Tuesday April 6, Millersville will travel to West Chester. West Chester is first in the PSAC East with an overall record of 21-3 and a conference record of 8-0. West Chester is also ranked No. 10 in the country in Division II baseball.