In a disappointing turn of events, the Shippensburg University baseball team was eliminated from the NCAA tournament on Friday afternoon. The game took place at the SHU Baseball Complex, with East Stroudsburg emerging victorious with a commanding 20-4 scoreline.
Shippensburg (27-25) managed to record four runs on six hits throughout the game. However, East Stroudsburg (36-13) proved dominant, scoring an impressive 20 runs from 16 hits. They will now face the loser of the Seton Hill/Mercyhurst matchup.
The Raiders fought hard in the final two innings, posting four runs. Sophomore Gio Calamia from Burleson, Texas, broke the Warriors’ shutout with an RBI groundout, bringing freshman Mike Heckman from Lititz, Pennsylvania, home. Sophomores Carter Arbuthnot from Oshawa, Ontario, and Carter Hinds from Warrington, Pennsylvania, also contributed by scoring runs in the ninth inning.
Graduate student Justin Byler from Lititz, Pennsylvania, had an exceptional day, going 3-for-4 at the plate, including a double in the first inning. Sophomore Bryce Herb from Wiconisco, Pennsylvania, matched Byler’s performance, also going 3-for-4 and driving in a run with a single to center field in the eighth inning.
Hinds extended his impressive hitting streak to 17 games, the longest streak for the Raiders since Chad Stecker’s 22-game streak back in 2004. Graduate student Noah Nabholz from Pottsville, Pennsylvania, was credited with the loss, finishing the season with a 7-6 record and concluding his college career with an overall record of 17-10. Nabholz wraps up his career with 146 strikeouts and an ERA of 5.23.
Junior Austen LaBarre from Nazareth, Pennsylvania, delivered a solid three innings of relief, striking out two batters. LaBarre solidified his place in the program’s history, ranking among the top ten in saves with a total of 13.
The 2023 season comes to an end for the Raiders, marking their fifth appearance in the NCAA Tournament under Head Coach Matt Jones. Shippensburg also made the PSAC Tournament for the 11th time since 2007. With 27 wins, this season is the most successful for the Raiders since 2018. Impressively, Shippensburg has reached the 25-win mark in 18 of the last 25 seasons.