Darrian Michael Hopson
The Millersville baseball team kept hot through the weekend with a doubleheader sweep versus Chowan, by the scores of 5-3 and 13-2 respectively. In doing so, pitcher Tad Barton (1-0) earned his 20th victory of his collegiate career, becoming the fifth player of the university to accomplish this feat.
Compiling a career set of games was outfielder Chas McCormick, who found himself on base a total of six times with three hits and three walks drawn, while also scoring three runs.
Pitching the Marauders to the win in game one was Chris Murphy (1-1), collecting his first win of the early season, surrendering three runs on four hits over a total of five innings.
Millersville found themselves down after second inning after two errors that allowed Chowan to take a 2-0 lead. In the top of the third inning, the offense responded immediately. A leadoff double by McCormick sparked a bit of life into the bats, and Tyler Orris brought McCormick home from third on an RBI single to left field. To close the inning the Marauders left three on base.
In the bottom half of the third, Murphy had begun to settle in, putting down the Chowan lineup 1-2-3.
A leadoff walk at the top of the fourth inning by Tyler McDonald helped Millersville plug four more runs to their total by inning’s end. With a double by second baseman Mark Stuckey and a walk from McCormick, the bases were loaded with no outs. McDonald would advance home on a passed ball knotting the score at 2-2.
Orris later drove in another run on a fielder’s choice, bringing in Stuckey from third to gain the lead. Kurt Seiders ripped a single past second base allowing McCormick to cross home plate. The final run would be Orris reaching home after a wild pitch, which also allowed Seiders to advance to second.
Once again in the bottom of the fourth, Chowan could not respond as Murphy retired the first three batters including a strikeout of one of them.
Chowan would only see one more run delivered by a steal of home base. Pitcher Matt Binder replaced Murphy in the sixth recording two strikeouts in the inning.
Adam Zipko entered for Binder later in the sixth, and went on to record the save which was his second of the year.
Although the Marauders committed four errors which were more than their season total, they were narrowly able to overcome this with a score of 5-3.
Game two featured senior pitcher Tad Barton coming to the mound looking for his first victory of the season, including his 20th career victory. This would later prove to be less than difficult as the Marauders offense exploded, offering 13 runs coming on 11 hits.
Barton’s effort included two strikeouts over four innings of work, allowing one run on four hits.
Millersville wasted no time getting on the board, as designated hitter Dan Johnson drove in Kurt Seiders on a single to left. Orris would later tack on another run scoring on a wild pitch.
After winning the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Atlantic Regional Hitter of the Week, Zach Stone continued to produce smacking a two-run homer in the second inning. This was Millersville’s first homerun of the season. First baseman Dan Stoltzfus turned in a 2-4 day, driving in three RBIs as well.
By the end of the fourth inning, it was evident that Millersville meant business after a triple to right center from Chas McCormick put them at a solid 8-1 advantage.
The Marauders were not done there, as their best inning came in the 7th adding four more runs to their already commanding lead, scoring on a couple of singles and an error.
The men on base proved to be a blessing for Millersville, as the team ran wild recording four stolen bases for the game.
The bullpen continued to pitch strong, using a combination of four arms after Barton to keep Chowan at bay. The relievers combined to hold Chowan to one run on one hit and two walks.
For game two, Millersville corrected their mistakes of game one by finishing the game with no errors as opposed to Chowan, which committed three.
Next up the Marauders are off to Williamston, N.C. on Feb. 21-Feb.23 where opponents Tiffin, Le Moyne and Indiana (Pa.) await them in the Riverside Spring Classic.