West Chester takes Atlantic Regional
Porter hurls complete-game, shutout to power Golden Rams
WEST LAWN, Pa. -- Dylan Porter tossed a complete-game, four-hit shutout as West Chester captured its third Atlantic Region title with a 6-0 victory against Kutztown at Owls Field at Ted Palka Park on Sunday afternoon.
West Chester (42-10) heads to the Division II Baseball Championship in Cary, N.C. for a chance to play for a national championship, along with seven other regional champions from around the country, in a double-elimination tournament format.
“I am really happy for these kids,” West Chester head coach Jad Prachniak said. “They are talented baseball team. They make my job easy, and I’m glad to see that they will have a chance to play on the biggest stage.
“I thought we had a pretty balanced team [at the beginning of the year]. But, as the season progressed, I recognized that we had a chance to do something special. We have been playing very consistently lately, and I think the starting pitching has set the tone.”
Porter was the latest of West Chester’s starting pitchers to strut his stuff on the hill, picking up the Golden Rams’ third complete-game win of the Atlantic Regional. West Chester’s starting pitchers were 4-0 in the regional with a 0.54 combined ERA. The Rams rotation tossed two shutouts, surrendered 17 hits in four games and struck out a total of 22 batters.
“[Coach Prachniak] always says that whenever you take the mound, you have to set a tone,” senior pitcher Jordan Lehman said. “I’ve never been on a team with this much depth. We have three or four guys, who didn’t pitch in the tournament, who can compete at this level.”
Porter (5-1) was masterful right from the get-go and did not let Kutztown gain any momentum with a rally. He scattered four hits over nine innings, walking one and striking out seven.
“When you start stringing together outs everything just seems to come together and click,” Porter described. “Coach Prachniak has always put us in a position to succeed, and the infield has come up big all year.”
Justin Lamborn led the offensive attack with a 3-for-4 day at the plate, including a home run and three runs batted in. He also scored twice. Joe Wendle was 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI.
Jack Provine and Josh Heyne each collected a pair of hits.
Trent Mertz (3-6) suffered the loss on the mound for Kutztown (37-19). He started and lasted 6.1 innings, allowing four runs, only two of them earned, on nine hits. He walked three and struck out seven.
West Chester is making its third trip to the DII Baseball Championship and first since 2009.