First things first, when Chris Murphy is on the mound for the Marauders, they do not lose. They simply do not. Heading into the opening game of Saturday’s double header with Bloomsburg, the Marauders were 19-4 when Murphy took the hill. The Huskies, however, made Murhpy look like a mere mortal, tagging him for six runs in just 4.1 innings in route to a 9-2 victory over the Marauders in game one.
Things started off on a high note for the Marauders. An RBI double by Dan Johnson followed by an RBI single by Alex Ramsay in the first gave the visiting Marauders an early 2-0 lead. A typical quick bottom half courtesy of Murphy marked both the first and last quiet inning out of the Huskies all game.
A two-out RBI single in the bottom of the second plated the Huskies first run of the afternoon and cut the Marauders lead to one. A scoreless top of the third out of the Marauders gave Bloom an opportunity to even the score in their half. Another single with runners in scoring position plated the game tying run in the third before Murphy worked out of relative trouble to end the frame.
After the first inning the Marauders’ bats fell quiet. The Huskies’ were just coming alive. The home team managed to plate two runs in each of the fourth and fifth innings before Murphy was pulled. The six runs he allowed were the most the junior had allowed in any game of his collegiate career.
Three ‘Ville pitchers, Sean Stephenson, Josh Brogan and Tanner Rahauser combined to throw the final 1.2 innings, allowing a total of three runs to score in the process, all charged to Brogan.
The loss dropped Murphy to 6-2 on the year, and the Marauders to 19-9.
Game two saw Millersville’s Brandon Miller take the hill against Bloom’s Tyler Hill.
Another showing of offense in the first inning gave the Marauders an early 1-0 lead, courtesy of an RBI ground out by Dan Johnson. The lead was short-lived however, as Huskies designated hitter Damin Muth took a 1-1 pitch to start the bottom of the second and deposited it over the right field fence, tying the game at one.
The Marauder offense was having none of the Huskies comeback attempts. With two outs in the top of the third Tyler Orris laced a double down the left field line, setting up Zach Stone in a potential two-out RBI situation. Stone was able to come through for the Marauders, singling up the middle and giving the Marauders a 2-1 lead in the process.
The score remained 2-1 until the seventh. Brandon Miller exited the game after 5.2 brilliant innings, allowing just the one run on two hits and a walk. Closer Adam Zipko, who entered the game with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, was unable to shut the door for Miller and the Marauders. Zipko issued a leadoff walk to Muth, who was immediately switched out for a pinch runner. A ground out advanced the runner to second, who then wasted no time coming around to score on a single by Husky shortstop Tim Ravel. Zipko was able to get out of the inning with no further damage, keeping the score even at 2-2.
Extra innings didn’t seem like a particularly enticing idea to the Marauders, who took no time retaking the lead from the Huskies. Back-to-back one-out singles by Orris and Stone, followed by a balk put runners on second and third with one out. Dan Johnson was able to come through in the clutch, singling and driving in Orris. A bunt single by Alex Ramsay drove in Zach Stone to extend the Marauders’ lead to two before a double play stifled any hint of a rally.
The two runs proved to be enough for Zipko’s second shot at closing the game. The closer struck out each of the last two batters of his one-two-three eighth inning effort.
The victory was the Marauders’ 20th of the year, pushing their record to 20-9 (7-3 PSAC East). The double header action will continue tomorrow, when the Huskies and Marauders will meet for their second double header in as many days. Game one of Sunday’s twin-bill, which takes place at Cooper Park in Millersville, is set to begin at 1 p.m.