West Chester baseball
West Chester won the PSAC tourney on Saturday. | PHOTO: Mike Schnelle, WCU Athletics
West Chester demonstrated remarkable resilience in the face of a formidable challenge, enduring a lengthy rain delay lasting 3 hours and 13 minutes and weathering a spirited comeback attempt from East Stroudsburg in the 2024 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Championship Game, ultimately emerging victorious with a narrow 12-11 triumph on Saturday afternoon at Jack Critchfield Park. 
With this hard-fought victory over East Stroudsburg (41-12), West Chester (43-7) secures the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Division II Baseball Tournament. This triumph marks the ninth conference title for the Golden Rams and a significant milestone for head coach Mike LaRosa, his first championship at his alma mater. 
Reflecting on his team's journey, LaRosa praised their unwavering determination, citing their resilience in enduring a marathon 15-inning game earlier in the tourney, multiple rain delays including the prolonged interruption during the championship showdown, and the necessity to rally from behind in three out of four victories. 
"They play the game the right way all the time, and I'm glad that they were rewarded for their efforts. The PSAC is such a tough conference, and I'm just proud of the way our guys handled themselves all week. We will enjoy this one today, and then it's on to the next stage.," LaRosa said after the contest.
As West Chester advances to the NCAA Tournament next week riding a formidable 10-game winning streak, anticipation mounts for their performance on the national stage. Positioned as the top-ranked team in the Atlantic Region, the Golden Rams are poised to host a portion of the regional tournament at Serpico Stadium. The NCAA D2 Baseball Selection Show will air Sunday night at 10:30 p.m. on NCAA.com.
Senior left-fielder Joe Kaleck emerged as a standout performer, earning the tournament's Most Valuable Player accolade with an impressive batting average of .444 for the week, highlighted by a stellar 5-for-6 performance in the championship clash. Kaleck's contributions, including eight hits, five walks, five RBIs, and four stolen bases throughout the PSAC Tournament, were instrumental in West Chester's success. 
Notably, Anthony Boccio delivered a notable 3-for-5 performance on Saturday with three RBIs, while Evan Profy contributed a solid 2-for-4 outing with a pair of runs scored. The collective effort of West Chester's lineup saw eight of nine batters registering base hits. 
Pitcher David Ferguson showcased his reliability on the mound, securing his second win of the tournament to maintain an unblemished 5-0 record for the year. Entrusted with relief duties following the lengthy rain delay, Ferguson's two innings of stellar work limited East Stroudsburg to one run on two hits, striking out one batter without issuing a walk.  
The championship victory not only signifies a triumph for West Chester in 2024 but also marks a poignant return to glory, marking their first championship since 2016 and setting the stage for further success as they prepare for the national stage.

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