The Shippensburg University baseball team achieved a remarkable three-game series sweep over Bloomsburg, their Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) East foe, by winning both games of a doubleheader on Saturday at Fairchild Field with scores of 5-2 and 7-4 respectively.
In Game 1, graduate Noah Nabholz (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) threw a complete game, and Shippensburg (16-8, 4-2 PSAC East) rallied for five runs in the fifth inning to secure a 5-2 win. In the second game, the Raider relievers, including redshirt-freshman Eric Bohenek (Clifton, Va./Centreville), junior Jackson LoBianco (Irvine, Cal./University), and junior Austen Labarre (Nazareth, Pa./Pen Argyl), combined for zero earned runs over 7.1 frames to help secure a 7-4 victory.
Despite registering only four hits against Nabholz in Game 1, Bloomsburg (6-9, 2-4) out-hit the Raiders 13-to-7 in the nightcap but failed to capitalize on their opportunities and left 12 runners stranded. Redshirt-sophomore Brock Piper (Newville, Pa/Big Spring (George Mason)) hit a game-tying two-run homer in the fifth inning of Game 1, sparking the Raider comeback, while graduate Justin Byler (Lititz, Pa./Warwick (Delaware/Louisburg)) kept up his hot streak with another home run in Game 2, giving the Raiders an early lead.
Moreover, freshman Mike Heckman (Lititz, Pa./Manheim Township) had an outstanding performance in the doubleheader, collecting four hits and hitting .571. The Raiders are set to take on the Seton Hill Griffins on Tuesday, March 21st, at Fairchild Field, with the first pitch at 3 p.m.
In Game 1, Bloomsburg’s Anthony Viggiano hit a two-run double to take a 2-0 lead, but that was all they could muster against Nabholz, who finished the game with six strikeouts and just two walks over seven innings. The Raiders answered back in the fifth inning, with Piper’s homer and Jaxon Dalena’s (Cogan Station, Pa./Montoursville (Monmouth)) two-run triple, giving them a 4-2 lead, which they extended with an RBI double by Heckman.
In Game 2, Byler’s solo homer gave the Raiders an early 1-0 lead, but Bloomsburg tied it up in the second inning off Shippensburg starter junior Gabe Stotler (Warfordsburg, Pa./Southern Fulton). Bohenek came in for Stotler, and his exceptional performance on the mound, which included five strikeouts and no walks, helped the Raiders maintain their lead. The Huskies managed to score two unearned runs against Bohenek in the sixth inning, but the Raider defense held them off with an RBI single from Barbera and two more runs in the ninth inning, securing the 7-4 victory.