By Devin Bender
KU fell short of winning against Shippensburg at KU’s North Campus Field. The Golden Bears had an early three-run advantage in the first inning but lost by a final score of 7-3.
Passing home plate for the Golden Bears were Mike Kelly (Schwenksville, PA/Pope John Paul II), Ethan Martini (Trevose, PA/ Father Judge) and Gavin Moretski (Harleysville, PA/ La Salle College H.S.). The rest of the runs scored would be earned by the opposing team.
In the fourth inning, SU’s Jafari Williams (Jersey City, NJ/James J. Ferris) hit the left side and singled to first, which caused Raiders freshman Carter Hinds to score (Warrington, PA/Central Bucks South). KU still had the lead, 3-1.
After the fourth inning, the game stagnated and would remain dead for three whole innings. In the seventh inning, SU’s Joe Barbera (Harrisburg, PA/Bishop McDevitt) advanced home because of a single that was made by SU’s senior player Ben Werkheise (Doylestown, PA/Germantown Academy, Delaware).
KU could not hold the early upper hand, as SU was only one point from tying the game up 3-2. With the eighth and ninth inning left in the ball game, the Golden Bears could not hold the lead. In the ninth inning, another play by Werkheise brought both teams tied 3-3.
The Golden Bears had a chance to redeem themselves in the ninth inning, but due to two strike out pitches by the Raiders’ Nick Zenga (Newark, DE/Newark (George Mason)) forced the game into overtime.
As the 10th inning began, SU was up to bat first. Werkheise earned a point for the Raiders by sending Byler home. It was now up to Juju Carson (East Arcadia, N.C/North Brunswick), who was able to get first. A hit by Hinds advanced both players forward. Following that was a hit-by-pitch play that enabled Williams to walk to first and both other players on plate to move up.
The Raiders now had the bases loaded and a hit down the center by Barbera brought home Carson and Hinds. The team earned the final point of the night when Williams scored after a wild pitch by KU’s pitcher.
After the Golden Bears could not score any points of their own, the Raiders were victorious with a 7-3 win in overtime. On April 16, KU went to Shippensburg’s home territory to take on the Raiders, where KU ended up being defeated by SU in a 7-5 game.