Shippensburg University sports: Raiders sweep another doubleheader
The Raiders got a two-run, walk-off home run in extra innings in Game 1 from graduate JuJu Cason in a Saturday doubleheader sweep of Lock Haven, defeating the Bald Eagles by scores of 4-3 and 7-3 in Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division action from Fairchild Field.
Shippensburg (7-7, 7-5 PSAC East), which lost three of four games in the 2019 season series with Lock Haven (2-10, 2-10), cranked out eight extra-base hits Saturday and received commendable starts from freshmen pitchers Kaleb Sophy (Orwigsburg, Pa./Blue Mountain) and Gabe Stotler (Warfordsburg, Pa./Southern Fulton).
The star of the day was Cason (East Arcadia, N.C./North Brunswick (Belmont Abbey)), whose walk-off homer in Game 1 erased a 3-2 deficit. Cason was 4-for-9 with the homer, a double, three RBIs and three stolen bases.
Chase Zurawski (Reading, Pa./Wilson) went 3-for-6 with a double, triple, three RBIs, two walks, a stolen base, and two runs scored. He reached base in all four of his Game 2 plate appearances and is currently on a 11-game hitting streak.
Five Raiders had multiple hits in the doubleheader, as Ben Werkheiser (Doylestown, Pa./Germantown Academy (Delaware)), Andrew Chronister (Dover, Pa./Dover Area) and Justin Darden (Mountain Top, Pa./Crestwood) each contributed two hits. Chronister led off the bottom of the ninth in Game 1 with a double to preface Cason’s walk-off home run. Darden has now reached base in 12 consecutive games.
Andres Garcia (Rahway, N.J./ Union County Vo-Tech) and Lake Lloyd (Ellicott City, Md./Mount Hebron) reached base four times; Garcia drew three walks in addition to a single while Lloyd had a single, two walks and was hit by a pitch.
Game 1: Shippensburg 4, Lock Haven 3 (9 innings)
Sophy threw eight innings of two-run ball in the opener, allowing six hits (all singles) and two walks while striking out 12 batters. It is Sophy’s second straight start with double-digit strikeouts, as he has struck out 23 batters over the last 15 innings he has worked.
The visitors plated an unearned run in the first inning, and the Raiders answered with two in the bottom of the fourth on a two-run single by Darden. LHU equaled the score in its next at-bat, as back-to-back singles led to a sacrifice fly.
Sophy retired the side in order in the sixth and seventh. In the bottom of the seventh, Cason singled with one out, stole second, and stole third, but was stranded.
Noah Nabholz (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) entered in the ninth and the Bald Eagles plated a run. The leadoff man was hit by a pitch and got to third base with no outs due to a wild pitch and a balk. Nabholz struck out the next batter, but a sacrifice fly by Gavin Troutman made it 3-2.
The Chronister double and Cason home run in the bottom of the ninth came off Justin Lichtenwalner, who moved from center field to pitcher in pursuit of the save. LHU got six innings of two-run ball from starter Kyler Mellot and two shutout innings of relief from Kevin Worek.
Game 2: Shippensburg 7, Lock Haven 3
SU scored two runs in the first, three in the second and another in the third to take a 6-2 lead that proved insurmountable. Zurawski tripled in a run in the bottom of the first and scored on the same play because of an errant throw.
Lock Haven scratched across two runs in the second to even the score, but the Raiders immediately answered. SU loaded the bases with nobody out. Cason hit into a fielder’s choice to score one run, and with two outs, Zurawski singled home two more runs.
In the sixth, Cason led off with a double and then came home on an RBI-double by Werkheiser.
Stotler threw 4.1 innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on nine hits. He walked one and struck out five in the win. Austen Labarre got the final eight outs and was credited with a save. Labarre allowed just one hit and one walk, holding LHU scoreless and striking out three.
Shippensburg faces Millersville next weekend, beginning with a noon doubleheader Friday at Cooper Park.