The Shippensburg University baseball team earned a pair of dramatic victories against Salem, winning by scores of 4-2 and 10-3 (eight innings) on a chilly Friday in West Virginia.
Shippensburg (3-2) totaled 16 hits on the day, seven of which came in the dramatic eighth inning of Game 2. The Raider pitching staff held Salem (0-2) to just five runs combined.
SU will face Salem again on Saturday, as they return to Frank Loria Memorial Field for a nine-inning contest beginning at noon.
Shippensburg scored in the first frame after junior Morgan Wyatt (Richmond, Va./Mills Godwin (Radford)) nearly went yard but settled for a stand-up double that brought home sophomore Gio Calamia (Burleson, Tex./Joshua (Mount Saint Mary’s)) home from second base.
Salem answered in the bottom of the first with a two-run shot to left field to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead.
Game 1 would be a stalemate until the fourth inning when Calamia hit a single up the middle to score sophomore Jaxon Dalena (Cogan Station, Pa./Montoursville (Monmouth)) and tie the game.
The Raiders took the lead in the sixth as both graduate Justin Byler (Lititz, Pa./Louisburg) and Jaxon Dalena scored to put SU up by two runs.
Graduate Noah Nabholz (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) earned the win for Shippensburg after pitching six innings, striking out five batters. Junior Austen Labarre (Nazareth, Pa./Pen Argyl) was credited with the save after striking out two of the three batters he faced in the final frame.
The Raiders found themselves trailing after one inning yet again as Salem tacked two early runs on the board to start the game.
Dalena cut the deficit in half after blasting a solo home run to straightaway center field, his first collegiate home run as a Raider.
Calamia tripled later in the inning to bat in a run, then was immediately brought home by junior Joe Barbera (Harrisburg, Pa./Bishop McDevitt).
The Tigers scored in the bottom of the fifth to tie the game and forced the contest into extra innings.
SU quickly jumped ahead in the eighth with five straight singles with zero outs on the board, scoring three runs in the process. Justin Byler then lined a single through the gap to send junior Andrew Chronister (Dover, Pa./Dover Area) and Morgan Wyatt home to extend the Shippensburg lead to five runs.
Dalena and Byler both found their way home as well to bring the Raiders run total into the double digits.
Redshirt-freshman Eric Bohenek (Clifton, Va./Centreville) and freshman J.T. Weaver (Lancaster, Pa./Manheim Township) proved to be Salem’s worst nightmare, as the duo combined for 13 strikeouts and just two walks.
Weaver got the win, throwing 3.2 hitless innings of relief, walking just one, and striking out six of the 10 batters he faced.
Dalena became the first Raider to draw four walks in a single game since Austin Allison on March 12, 2016, against Pitt-Johnstown.
Sophomore Carter Arbuthnot (Oshawa, Ontario/Maxwell Heights Secondary (Niagara County C.C.)), Calamia, Barbera, and Byler each recorded two hits in the game.