On Saturday afternoon, the Marauders baseball team continued their winning ways, sweeping a doubleheader against visiting Bloomsburg.
Game one saw the Huskies’ Casey Cooperman (0-2) taking the hill against the red-hot Chris Murphy (7-1). Entering the game on a 14 inning scoreless streak, including a perfect game against Clarion two starts prior, Murphy showed no signs of slowing up. Murphy hurled his third consecutive complete game shutout, improving his record to 7-1 and dropping his era to a miniscule 1.87.
Fortunately for the Huskies, Cooperman was throwing the ball equally well. Cooperman matched Murphy almost pitch for pitch, entering the bottom of the seventh, the score remained knotted at 0-0. Senior outfielder Jess Heisey lead off the seventh with a single to left and advanced to second on a balk shortly after. A sacrifice bunt by Mark Stuckey moved Heisey to third with just one out, setting up the Marauders for a walk off win. After an intentional walk, presumably to set up a double play, and a strikeout, freshman shortstop Tyler Orris laced a single to right, driving in Heisey and giving the Marauders the walk off victory they were looking for.
Orris’s single was one of just eight hits by either side in the opener, as both pitchers had excellent showings on the mound. Cooperman, though 0-2, sports a 1.86 era for the Huskies, Murphy has run his scoreless streak to 21 innings through this game, allowing only six hits in the process.
Game two of the doubleheader saw the Marauders have a little more success with the bats early on. The Marauder men jumped on Bloom starter Eric Geedey (3-3) early and often, knocking him out of the game in the second, but not before charging him with five runs, four of which were earned en route to a 7-3 Marauder victory.
After the Huskies went down 1-2-3 in the top of the first at the hands of Jim McDade (2-3), Evan King lead off the bottom with a single to center. Freshman Jeremy Musser followed suit, lacing an RBI double to left, scoring King. After a lineout and another double, Jeff Heisey singled to right and Mark Stuckey recorded the Marauders’ third double of the inning, both knocking in runs and bringing the lead to 4-0.
A Bloom homer to lead off the second put a slight dent into the Marauders’ lead, though two runs in the bottom of the second on another Musser RBI single and a sac fly negated the comeback effort.
McDade breezed through the following three innings, allowing just one hit and fanning two. After Zach Stone knocked in two more in the bottom half of the fourth, the game slowly crept away from the Huskies, who were unable to overcome the early 7-1 deficit.
A two run fifth inning wasn’t enough for Bloomsburg, as the scoring stopped there and saw them fall 7-3 to the Marauders and an underwhelming 4-18 on the season. McDade ended the game with an impressive line, finishing with a quality start, allowing three earned in six innings, fanning two. Pat Kelly and Adam Zipko combined to throw a shutout seventh to secure the win, allowing just one runner to reach base.
The top four hitters in the Marauders lineup went a combined 8-12, knocking in five of the seven runs on the day. Included were King, Dan Johnson and Musser, who reached base three times apiece, and Zach Stone, who knocked in three.
The Marauders improved their record to 8-4 when playing at the friendly confines of Marauder Park and 18-8 overall. The 18-8 record, including a 4-0 record in divisional play, is good for first place in the PSAC East. The next scheduled game for the Marauders comes Wednesday, April 3rd at Lincoln University, who managed to start their season with 13 consecutive losses before improving to 4-16 overall, where they stand now.