After a rough last outing, the Marauders sent Tim Mayza to the mound to kick off their weekend series against West Chester, seeking to secure a spot in the PSAC Tournament for the third straight year. You can probably guess how it went from there.
Mayza returned to form Friday afternoon in game one of the doubleheader, tossing a complete game shutout, striking out six and only allowing five baserunners in a 9-0 victory over WCU.
After two quiet innings, the Marauders kicked off the scoring in the top of the third when a costly error by WCU first basemen Chris Pula gave the Marauders an early 1-0 lead. A sac fly by Zach Stone scored Evan King, putting the Marauders up by two, plenty of room for Mayza to work.
Although ultimately unneeded, the Marauders piled on two more runs in the fifth, pushing the score to 4-0 and giving Mayza some comfort room.
After a few more lights-out innings from Mayza, the Marauders offense came alive in the seventh, as Tyler McDonald, David Pine, Tyler Orris and Evan King knocked four consecutive extra base hits to give the Marauders a 7-0 lead. A sharply hit double to left center by Dan Johnson later in the inning would push the game well out of reach, driving in two more runs and finishing the scoring for game one.
Ace Tim Mayza was able to improve his record to 9-2 and drop his ERA to a team best 1.42 on the season. In addition to his six strikeouts, Mayza induced eight groundball outs and never allowed a Golden Ram to get past second base. The Rams weren’t even able to get a man into scoring position until the bottom of the seventh.
Game two saw the Marauder’s Tad Barton show some flashes of brilliance just one game removed from his complete game shutout of Mansfield in which he fanned a season high 10 batters.
Barton was able to blank the Golden Rams through the first five innings, carrying a perfect game into the top of the sixth. Although Barton was unable to secure the Marauders’ second perfect game of the season, he was able to pitch well enough to get the win, improving his record to 7-2 on the season and locking the Marauders into a spot in the PSAC Tournament.
From the onset the Marauder offense was able to back Barton, scoring all eight runs of the 8-4 victory in the first five innings. Already up 2-0 in the third, center fielder Mark Stuckey lined a double down the left field line, scoring Jeff Heisey and Zach Stone and putting the Marauders up by four.
A pair of two-out singles by Zach Stone and Dan Johnson in the fourth drove in runs number five and six, giving the Marauders just enough run support to earn their 32nd win of the season.
After remaining perfect through five, Barton ran into some trouble in the sixth, allowing all four of West Chester’s runs in the game to score with two outs. Fortunately for Barton and the Marauders, the Golden Rams’ Jordan Wlodarczyk went down swinging with a man on second to end the threat. A quick seventh inning by Adam Zipko shut the door on the Golden Rams and completed Friday’s sweep of West Chester that saw the Ram’s record drop to a paltry 18-20-1 on the season.
West Chester, just one year removed from a PSAC Championship victory, continues to struggle this season, currently sitting fifth in the conference behind Millersville, Kutztown, ESU and Ship. The Marauders get to take on the struggling Golden Rams in one more double header Sunday afternoon, where they will look to complete the four game series sweep and pad their lead atop the PSAC East. First pitch is slated for 1pm.