On Sunday afternoon the Millersville Marauders baseball team upset number 6 West Florida, handing them their first loss of the season.
Just two years ago the Argonauts (8-1) celebrated their first Division II NCAA Championship when they beat Winona State 12-2. Entering the game ranked #6 with a perfect 8-0 record the 3-2 Marauders wouldn’t seem to pose much of a problem. However, the hot handed Marauders, winners of their last three entering the game, proved to be too much for the Argos to handle, besting them by a score of 5-2 Sunday.
Chris Murphy took the hill for the Marauders looking to improve upon his 1-0 record, opposite him was #2 starter Dayan Rodriguez, who entered the game with an identical record and 3.00 ERA. After both teams went hitless through the first two, Millersville jumped on Rodriguez in the third when Kurt Seiders doubled to the right centerfield gap, plating a run and giving the Marauders an early lead. The Argos remained hitless until the fourth when left fielder Drew Prichard singled to kick off the inning. A hit batter and a single later, the score was tied at two. To counter in the fifth, the Marauders tallied five hits, including RBI singles from Zach Stone and Jeff Heisey to regain the lead once again. Drew Prichard would again hurt the Marauders when he hit a solo homer with two outs in the fifth to cut the Marauders lead to one, a 3-2 game. Both teams had clearly had enough of the back and forth scoring, bearing down to allow a combined one hit in the next three innings.
Looking for some late game insurance, the Marauders were able to tack on two more runs in the top of the ninth on a fielder’s choice and a poorly timed balk. Despite a leadoff double in the bottom of the inning, Adam Zipko was able to shut the door on the Argos to record the save and seal the 5-2 victory. Zipko is now 3-3 in save opportunities, and has not allowed an earned run in any of his four appearances. Zipko adds confidence to the back of the Marauders pen by proving himself to be an effective closer.
Millersville started Chris Murphy earned his second win of the season, improving to 2-0 with an impressive 2.77 ERA in two starts. Murphy’s strong seven inning outing and some effective small ball by the Marauders hitters were enough to give the team their fourth consecutive win. Fanning eight in total, Murphy was especially effective in the first three innings, allowing just one baserunner and striking out five. Sparkplug Evan King once again set the table well from the leadoff spot, going 2-4 and scoring his team leading 11th run of the season. King is now 12 for his last 19, an incredible .632 batting average. Kurt Seiders added three hits, two steals, two runs and an RBI in his best game so far this season.
Next weekend the Marauders travel to North Carolina for the annual Riverside Spring Classic which kicks off with a 4 PM game against Glenville State on Friday. The Marauders hope to continue the winning ways, but will have to take on another ranked opponent, #24 Le Moyne on the second day of the three game set before traveling to West Virginia to take on Sheppard in a two game series.