Millersville sweeps West Chester with squeeze bunt, clutch relief
MILLERSVILLE, Pa. -- Millersville needed some late-inning heroics Friday to earn a doubleheader sweep of West Chester and maintain a one-game lead in the PSAC East.
The Marauders (33-12, 20-6) used a squeeze play to win Game 1 by an 8-7 score, while holding off a West Chester rally to win 3-2 in the nightcap.
The Marauders are zeroing in on their third PSAC East title in four years for the senior class. The class improved to 141-65-1 over four seasons. It was only fitting that Adam Zipko played a key role in both of the Marauders' wins on senior day. The reliable senior reliever with 74 career appearances -- two shy of the school record -- pitched three hitless innings in game one to improve to 5-0 on the season. He inherited the game-tying run in the seventh inning of game two but induced three ground outs to end the game.
The Marauders also received contributions from unlikely sources. Freshman David Summerfield, who had just four previous appearances this season, made his first career starts and went 5-for-6 with a walk. He recorded a single in each of his first five at bats. Kurt Seiders came off the bench as a defensive replacement in the sixth inning of the opener, and with the bases loaded in the eighth, he perfectly executed a bunt down the first base line, allowing Dan Johnson to score the game-winning run standing up. Millersville totaled a season-high 17 hits in game one. West Chester native Chas McCormick went 4-for-5 with a run and RBI in the opener and went 1-for-2 with a run and two RBIs in the nightcap. Dan Stoltzfus totaled four hits on the day include three in game one.
The hit parade started early for Millersville. The Marauders scored at least one run in each of the first four innings and tagged started Matt McAllister for 14 hits in 4.1 innings. Millersville built a 6-0 lead after three, but West Chester stormed back in the fourth. Tad Barton, who had thrown at least six innings and allowed no more than two earned runs in each of his last six starts, surrendered six hits and a walk before being pulled in favor of Matt Binder. The first batter Binder faced, Matt Petrizzi, smacked a two-run double in the left-center field gap, tying the game at 6-6. Binder fanned the next two batters to escape.
Millersville received some good fortune in the bottom of the inning. With Johnson on first base, Stoltzfus lashed a single to right. The ball bounded past the charging right fielder and Johnson scored from first for the go-ahead run. West Chester, however, knotted the score a 7-7 with an unearned run in the fifth, and with Zipko and West Chester's ace reliever Kyle Weary on the mound, baserunners were difficult to come by.
Weary worked out of a jam in the fifth and retired the leadoff batter in the eighth. Johnson was plunked with a pitch to start Millersville's rally. Stoltzfus and Alex Ramsay delivered back-to-back singles to load the bases. Seiders then brought home the game-winning run with his bunt.
Millersville raced to an early lead again in game two. McCormick led off Millersville's half of the ninth with a triple, and Tyler Orris (New Cumberland/Cedar Cliff) brought him home with a ground out. The Marauders built a 2-0 lead in the second when McCormick drove in Seiders, who had started the inning with a single.
West Chester picked up one in the fourth after Chris Pula's leadoff triple and Robert Knox's sacrifice fly, but the Marauders pushed the advantage back to two with a McCormick sacrifice fly in the bottom of the inning.
Millersville starter Jim McDade (6-1) retired three of the four batters he faced in the fifth, but that didn't stop West Chester from cutting into the lead. Mike Raimo led off with a single, stole second and advanced to the third on a throwing error. he then scored on a wild pitch.
With the lead at just one run, Millersville turned to Zipko after McDade gave up a leadoff single to start the seventh. McDade registered two quick ground outs, walked a batter to put the go-ahead run on base, but got Petrizzi, West Chester's leading hitter, to bounce back to the mound.