EAST STROUDSBURG, Pa. -- In its first road games in more than a month, No. 9 Shippensburg split a doubleheader at defending PSAC champion East Stroudsburg on Wednesday afternoon at ESU's home opener from Mitterling Field, winning the first game 6-5 with a comeback in the top of the seventh before dropping the nightcap 7-2 to split the season series.
Junior second baseman Jimmy Spanos drove in three runs in Game 1 and went 3-for-4 from the plate with two runs scored. Spanos hit a two-run home run to left-center in the first, drove in another run in the third and finished the game a triple short of hitting for the cycle.
Senior center fielder Michael Douglas finished the day 4-for-8 with three runs scored and the game-tying RBI in Game 1 while sophomore shortstop Mike Marcinko went 3-for-7 with a run scored and three driven in, including the go-ahead RBI single that plated Douglas.
Douglas, Marcinko and Spanos -- SU's top three hitters in the lineup -- batted 7-for-12 in Game 1 with five runs scored and five RBIs.
Freshman Mark Curtis pitched into the sixth of the opener and gave up three earned runs on eight hits with five strikeouts. Junior Kevin Richter pitched the final two outs of the sixth and earned his first career win in a Raider uniform. Senior Austin Bartley pitched the seventh and earned his PSAC-leading sixth save of the season.
With the Raiders (19-6, 7-3 PSAC East) ahead 3-1 through three and a half innings of Game 1, East Stroudsburg (18-9, 4-6) plated two runs each in the fourth and fifth to take a 5-3 lead. Spanos led off the sixth with a double and scored on back-to-back groundouts (freshman designated hitter Isaac Stern recorded the RBI) to cut the SU deficit to 5-4.
Junior right fielder Austin Allison led off the top of the seventh with a walk and stole second before freshman third baseman Ryan McMillen put runners at the corners with a single up the middle. After McMillen was caught trying to steal second, Douglas drove in Allison with a double off the right-field hill to knot the score at 5-5. Marcinko then drove in the eventual game-winning run with a single that ricocheted off the ESU shortstop and rolled into shallow left field and allowed Douglas to score from second.
The victory was the eighth of the season for Shippensburg in which it scored the winning run in its final inning of the game.
Marcinko carried the momentum of his Game 1-winning hit right into Game 2 as he stroked a two-run home run down the left-field line following a Douglas single to leadoff the game. Those proved to be the only Raider runs of the nightcap as senior Shawn Patterson suffered the loss and struck out three in a complete-game effort.
After having played six games (three doubleheaders) in three days, the Raiders will have Thursday off before traveling to Kutztown on Friday for a PSAC East doubleheader.