Stratton’s No-Hitter, Graversen’s Hitting Highlight Dominant Weekend

Joplin, Mo.–The William Penn baseball team headed down to Joplin for the weekend for a quartet of games. They squared off against Northwestern and Park on Saturday, and faced Jamestown and Saint Mary in their Sunday doubleheader.

The Statesmen kept the momentum going from Tuesday, winning all four games this weekend to extend their winning streak to six, and moving their record to 6-1 on the young season.

WPU 3 NU 0

The Statesmen received some help from the opposition in the first inning, as three errors in the infield led to all three William Penn runs for the afternoon. Jameson Hart (Jr., Sarnia, Ontario, Sports Management) was able to cash in with runners on the corners and drove a single the opposite way to drive in Alex Fisher (Jr., Sydney, Australia, Biology). After a fielder’s choice, back to back singles from Dominic Bravo (Sr., Downey, Calif., Digital Communications) and Soren Graversen (Jr., Calgary, Alberta, Human Services) pushed the lead to 3. In the bottom of the frame.

Chase Stratton (Sr., Clearfield, Utah, Sports Management) went to work in the bottom of the frame and retired the Raiders in order, one via strikeout. This was far from the last time that the Raiders were retired in succession.

Stratton struck out the side in the second and fan two more in the third. After an error to begin the bottom of the 4th, Stratton induced a double play on the very next batter and ended the inning after a lineout to left field. He struck out the side once again in the fifth, making quick work of the same three batters he whiffed in the second, before striking out two more in the sixth. Working in the seventh inning with history on the line, Stratton punctuated his no-hit, no-walk performance with yet another strikeout, his 12th of the ballgame.

The no-hitter for Stratton marked the Statesmen’s first since February 17, 2017, when Felipe Hernandez spun a gem in a 10-0 victory over William Woods. His 12 punch outs also marked a new single-game high for him as a member of the Statesmen.

Hart, Bravo, and Graversen each finished with identical lines on the day, finishing 2-3 with 1 RBI.

WPU 5 PU 4

After falling to a 2-0 deficit in the top of the second inning, the Statesmen quickly tied the game over the course of the next two. Jarrett Hunt (Sr., Logan, Utah, Digital Communications) got the second started with a double, and Graversen singled him over to third. Nick George (Fr., Sarnia, Ontario) hit a sacrifice fly to get the navy and gold on the board.

Brian Thomas (Fr., Shingle Springs, Calif.) kept the Pirates off the board in the third, and the bats went back to work. Hart reached on a one out walk, and Bravo singled with two down. After Hart stole third, Graversen doubled him home to tie things up at two.

Although Thomas had about as dominant of an inning as a pitcher can have, striking out four batters, two errors allowed the Pirates to regain the lead, 3-2. The score remained that way until the top of the sixth, when Park pushed across another run to extend their lead to two.

The offense came alive once again in the bottom of the frame, however, eliminating the Park lead. Graversen got things started with a bang, driving his fourth home run of the week to bring the game within 1. Carson Hauk (Fr., Lubbock, Texas, Business Management) was hit by a pitch, and George drew a walk to follow. Fisher grounded into a forceout to send Hauk home and knot the game at 4. The score remained deadlocked at 4 until the bottom of the ninth inning. Fisher roped a one out triple, and trotted home soon after on a passed ball to walk off the Pirates.

Graversen stayed white hot at the plate, going 3-4 at the plate with a home run, a double, and two RBI. Fisher and George tallied the other two RBI at the dish in the game, with the fifth run scoring on the passed ball on the last pitch of the game.

Thomas worked 5.1 innings in Saturday’s nightcap, allowing four runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks, striking out seven. Stetson Denning (So., Queen Creek, Ariz., Sports Management) relieved him from there, throwing 3.2 innings of blemish-free baseball while striking out two.

WPU 6 JU 1

After the leadoff batter scored for the Jimmies, Teddy Natter (Jr., Reno, Nev., Business Management) got dialed in. He struck out the final batter of the first inning, the first of many for the morning. Natter worked himself out of a jam in the second by striking out two more. He whiffed two in each of the third, fourth, and fifth innings before striking out the side in order in the sixth. He sent two more Jamestown batters flailing before being replaced by Jacob Wiechmann (Jr., Santa Cruz, Calif., Computer Science), who recorded the final out of the afternoon with another punch out.

The Statesmen bats remained dormant until the fourth inning, where Hart got things started with a double. Hunt drew a walk to follow, and Bravo singled in Hart to tie things up at one. Up stepped Graversen, and as has been the theme so far in this first week, was able to do some serious damage once again. He lifted a majestic blast over the right field wall to give the Statesmen a 4-1 lead, his fifth in the team’s first six games. The team pushed across one more in the fifth and one more in the sixth, and finished a 6-1 victory for their fifth consecutive victory.

Graversen’s bat remained a lethal force in the opening contest on Saturday, going 2-3 with three more RBI, even adding a stolen base for good measure. Bravo also went 2-3 with an RBI, but the story of the game was Natter. Natter through a dominant 6.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits and three walks while cutting down 14.


Keeping up with the theme of the weekend, Tyler Gregory (Jr., Peoria Heights, Ill., Exercise Science) shoved against the spires. He worked through three innings of one run ball, setting the stage for the Statesmen offense to take over. With two outs in the bottom of the third, Adrian Garcia (Sr., Ontario, Calif., Mechanical Engineering) took one for the team to reach first, and Fisher promptly tripled him home to tie the game.

Gregory set the Spires down in order in the top of the fourth, and William Penn was off and running again. A one out double from Hunt got things going again, and Bravo reached on an error to put two on for the scorching hot Graversen. Graversen cashed in yet again, singling in Hunt to give the Statesmen a 2-1 lead. Franklin Aparicio (So., Panama City, Panama) followed up with a single to drive in Bravo. The Spires pulled within one in the top of the 6th inning, but Aparicio delivered again with another RBI single to push the lead back to two. Wiechmann came in for the seventh inning and slammed the door on the Spires, earning his second save of the day.

Gregory worked six strong frames against Saint Mary, allowing only two runs on seven hits while striking out three. Graversen recorded another 2-3 showing, his fourth consecutive multi-hit game of the weekend. Aparicio had a big day at the plate as well, going 2-3 with two RBI.

The Statesmen arms were electric over the course of the whole weekend. The pitching staff combined to allow only five earned runs across 30 innings, coming out to a microscopic 1.5 ERA.

“We had a great weekend this weekend going 4-0, but even still have some kinks to work out,” said Head Coach Mike Laird. “Graversen has been on fire at the plate. We’ll take a day off tomorrow and get right back at it.”

What’s Next: The Statesmen will take a bit of a hiatus with spring break on the horizon. Their next action will be in Canton, Mo., as they take on the Culver-Stockton Wildcats in their first Heart action of the 2021 season.

Posted by on Mar 1 2021. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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