Shippensburg University sports: Raiders baseball split doubleheader

The Shippensburg University Raiders baseball team split a Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division doubleheader with Shepherd for the second straight day; winning Game 1 Sunday by a 7-2 score before losing Game 2 by an 8-5 score in action at Fairfax Field in Shepherdstown, W.Va.

Shippensburg (3-7, 3-5 PSAC East) out-hit Shepherd (3-5, 3-5) by a 20-7 margin in Sunday’s doubleheader. Keying the offense for the second straight day was Ben Werkheiser (Doylestown, Pa./Germantown Academy (Delaware)), who reached base in his first seven plate appearances of the doubleheader. Werkheiser homered three times Sunday, going 5-for-6 with five RBIs, two walks and four runs scored.

In four games against Shepherd this weekend, Werkheiser was 8-for-12 with five home runs, seven RBIs, three walks and six runs.

Chase Zurawski (Reading, Pa./Wilson) also had another solid day at the plate, collecting three hits. Jordan Yoder (Ronks, Pa./Conestoga Valley (Cecil College/Liberty)) hit a home run, and Andres Garcia (Rahway, N.J./ Union County Vo-Tech) delivered two doubles.

Freshmen starting pitchers Kaleb Sophy (Orwigsburg, Pa./Blue Mountain) and Gabe Stotler (Warfordsburg, Pa./Southern Fulton) combined to allow just three runs (two earned) in 10 innings of work, striking out 17 batters. Sophy was the star of Game 1 on the mound, throwing a complete game and striking out 11 in the victory. He allowed just three hits and walked six.

Game 1: Shippensburg 7, Shepherd 2

The Raiders got on the board with two runs in the first inning and never trailed in the opener. One-out singles from Werkheiser and Zurawski prefaced an RBI-single by Yoder and an RBI-double by sophomore Justin Darden (Mountain Top, Pa./Crestwood).

In the fourth, Garcia hit a leadoff double and scored on an RBI-single by Werkheiser, making it 3-1. Werkheiser’s fourth at-bat was a two-run homer in the sixth that made it 5-1. Werkheiser was 3-for-3 with a home run, three RBIs and a walk in the game.

Sophy worked out of a couple of jams. In the third, with runners on second and third with one out, Sophy induced a lineout and then got a strikeout to escape unscathed. In the sixth, with an unearned run already across the plate and two runners on base, Sophy struck out back-to-back batters.

The Raiders added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh on a solo home run by Yoder and an RBI-single by freshman Jackson LoBianco (Irvine, Cal./University). Yoder and Lake Lloyd (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) each had two hits.

Game 2: Shepherd 8, Shippensburg 5

The Raiders took a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth with a solo home run by Werkheiser and a two-run double by Garcia. The lead was extended to 4-1 entering the bottom of the fifth after another Werkheiser bomb. Werkheiser was 2-for-3 in the nightcap with the two solo homers and a walk.

Stotler allowed one run and one hit through three innings, walking three and striking out six before departing. Austen Labarre (Nazareth, Pa./Pen Argyl) pitched a scoreless fourth, striking out two, but the Rams took the lead against him with a four-run fifth. Shepherd loaded the bases with one out on a single, a walk, and a hit batter, and plated its first run on a bases-loaded walk. A timely single by Daniel Keer resulted in three more runs crossing the plate and a 5-4 Shepherd lead.

Shippensburg nearly tied it in the top of the sixth on a single by Andrew Chronister (Dover, Pa./Dover Area), but Darden was thrown out at the plate on a throw from right field by Keer. Shepherd added three more runs in the sixth to take an 8-4 lead.

The Raiders got an RBI-single in the seventh from Zurawski and brought the tying run to the plate but could not get any closer.

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