No cookouts at home for the Shippensburg Red Raiders baseball team this Memorial Day. They spent the holiday weekend for the Division 2 College World Series in Cary, North Carolina. Unfortunately, Shippensburg is coming back earlier than they would like after losing their first two games in the double elimination tournament.
On Monday, the Red Raiders fall to Grand Valley State 8-4. Here is the complete game recap from Shippensburg’s media relations department:
CARY, N.C. – The No. 17 Shippensburg University baseball team totaled 13 hits on Memorial Day but watched its impressive NCAA postseason run come to a finish with an 8-3 loss to No. 14 Grand Valley State on the third day of the Division II Baseball National Finals co-hosted by Town of Cary and Mount Olive College from Coleman Field at the USA Baseball National Training Complex at Thomas Brooks Park.
The Raiders were ranked as high as No. 12 in the Baseball News coaches’ poll this season and finished with a 32-23 record with an Atlantic Region title to earn the program’s fifth appearance in the national championships.
“We’re very proud of what we accomplished this year, we’re very proud that we were here,” head coach Matt Jones said. “We think we represented ourselves and the school very well and we were really happy that we gave our seniors an opportunity to compete at this level.”
A quintet of Raiders finished with two hits on Monday afternoon. Senior right fielder Cody Kulp (Boyertown/Boyertown) knocked in two runs and junior first baseman Pat Kregeloh (Effort/Pleasant Valley) and junior center fielder Michael Douglas (Malvern/Great Valley (Pittsburgh)) each drove in one run.
Kregeloh’s RBI gave him 60 for his junior season – which puts him in sole possession of second place in the single-season RBIs list. (Wayne Gordon and Scott Rhodes each drove in 61 runs in 1981 and 1991, respectively.)
The Midwest Region-champion Lakers (36-18) – who advanced to play the loser of the Minnesota State-Franklin Pierce game on Wednesday at 3 p.m. – got off to a hot start with a triple, a double and a single from their first three batters and eventually ended the day of Raider senior starter Tom Bush (Punxsutawney/Punxsutawney) after just two outs in the first.
Junior Shawn Patterson (Springfield/Springfield) entered the game and pitched four innings of relief with three strikeouts. Freshman Marcus Shippey (Bedford/Bedford) was on the hill for the final 4.1 innings – a career high – and gave up four hits while fanning two.
Down 7-0 midway through the sixth, Shippensburg rallied for three runs in the bottom of the inning as six consecutive Raiders reached base. Junior third baseman Cal Hogan (Williamstown, N.J./St. Augustine’s Prep (Frederick C.C.)) was hit by a pitch and senior catcher Tyler Shover (Camp Hill/Camp Hill (Frederick C.C.)) and Kregeloh ripped back-to-back singles to center with Kregeloh’s scoring Hogan from second for SU’s first run of the tournament.
Senior designated hitter Simon Beloff (Jupiter, Fla./Jupiter (Harford C.C.)) loaded the bases on a deep fly ball to the right-field warning track that the GVSU right fielder was unable to catch as he back-tracked to the wall. Kulp then swung on the first pitch he saw and roped it to left to score Shover and Kregeloh. A single to left from sophomore second baseman Jimmy Spanos (Mechanicsburg/Mechanicsburg) again loaded the bases before an inning-ending double play groundout ended the rally.
Facing the final three outs of its season, the Raiders put together one last comeback attempt in the bottom of the ninth. With Grand Valley State closer and NCAA Division II career saves leader Brad Zambron taking the mound, SU started the frame with three consecutive singles off the bats of Spanos, freshman shortstop Mike Marcinko (Philipsburg/Philipsburg) and senior pinch hitter Kyle Hollingsworth (Harrisburg/Susquehanna Township) to fill the pond.
Douglas then hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Spanos and make the score 8-4 before a fly out and a foul out ended the Shippensburg season.
“We were close a couple times to really getting back in the game and I knew that the guys would be that way. I knew that that would be their mindset, that they would compete until the last pitch,” Jones said.
The seven Shippensburg seniors – Beloff, Bush, Hollingsworth, Kulp, David McKolosky (Johnstown/Westmont Hilltop), Josh Scott (York/Red Lion) and Shover – all played their final games in a Raider uniform.
“I couldn’t be more proud of these guys and I’m just thrilled for [the seniors] that they were able to come to this place and this event to wrap up their careers,” Jones said.