Brilliant pitching leads Millersville to DH sweep of No. 9 Shippensburg
MILLERSVILLE, Pa. -- Millersville starting pitchers Tad Barton and Jim McDade combined for 14 brilliant innings of work in a sweep of No. 9 Shippensburg Saturday at Cooper Park. After allowing run in the first inning of game one, Barton tossed six consecutive shutout innings for a 2-1 win. McDade continued the trend and kept the Raiders scoreless for seven innings in a 2-0 game two win.
Barton (5-2) scattered five hits and struck out four. Three of the strikeouts ended innings and stranded Shippensburg runners on base. McDade (4-1) breezed through the Raider lineup in game two. He allowed a first-inning, two-out single to Jimmy Spanos but went the final 6.1 innings without allowing another hit. He allowed only one more Raider to reach base (a walk in the third). McDade retired 14 in a row to secure the win. It was the first time Shippensburg had been one-hit since 2010 and the first against a PSAC East opponent since Derek Kline's one-hitter in a five-inning game in 2009.
With Barton and McDade dealing, the Millersville offense needed only four runs to get two wins. Tyler McDonald went 2-for-3 in the doubleheader with a sacrifice fly that brought home the winning run in the opener. He also made a stellar catch on a line drive that was the final out of game two. Dan Neff brought home both runs in game two with a two-run single.
Millersville boosted its overall record to 25-10 and its PSAC East record to 12-4. Shippensburg fell to 22-10 overall and 9-7 in league play. The Marauders now hold a three-game lead over Shippensburg in the PSAC East standings heading into Sunday's doubleheader at Fairchild Field.
Mike Dougas and Shippensburg put pressure on Barton early in the opener. Douglas drew a first pitch walk and promptly swiped second base. After moving to third on a balk, Pat Kregeloh pushed him home with a single to left. Shippensburg put runners on base in the second and third and had runners in scoring position in the fourth and the fifth, but Barton worked out of each jam.
Millersville missed its own opportunities, leaving runners stranded in each of the first four innings. In the fourth, Dan Johnson and Alex Ramsay were in scoring position with one out but Kregeloh fanned the next two Marauders to keep Ship in front.
Millersville broke through in the fifth with the help of some Shippensburg defensive miscues. Chas McCormick reached on an error, and after stealing second, Tyler Orris single to right field. McCormick initially held at third base but the right fielder booted the ball, allowing McCormick to race home.
Johnson opened the sixth with a double that bounced just inside the left field line. A bunt from Alex Ramsay pushed Johnson to third, and the strategy worked to perfection when McDonald lofted a fly to center that allowed Johnson to sprint home for the go-ahead run.
Millersville and Shippensburg both totaled five hits. Orris accounted for two of the Marauders' hits.
McDade and Rich Michaud dueled for the first three innings, but in the fourth, Zach Stone started the Marauder charge with a single. Coach Jon Shehan employed some small ball, calling Johnson to bunt Stone to third. Ramsay reached on an infield single and moved up to second on a bunt by McDonald. With two on and two out, Neff delivered a clutch hit up the middle. Stone scored easily. Ramsay appeared out at the plate, but he avoided the tag with his slide and then dived back into home head first from the first base side for the second run.
Barton had no problem with the Shippensburg lineup. Only one runner reached second base and he cruised through the final four innings. McDade has now tossed at least six innings in five consecutive starts. He has allowed fewer than three runs in five of eight starts and has held opponents to five or fewer hits in seven of eight. He has also walked only one batter in six straight starts.