Home debut shows Rams with pitching wins over Senators
SHEPHERDSTOWN — The weather was numbing and without much in common with playing baseball.
Those weren’t bits of ashes falling from the leaden sky. Those were unpopular snowflakes. But they didn’t really effect the playing of the two games won by Shepherd over Davis & Elkins.
Last Friday’s doubleheader had the Rams at home at Fairfax Field for the first time for the 2019 season.
Not only was the listless snow an unusual circumstance, but also Shepherd had two pitchers show complete games in the 37-degree weather.
Mitchell Wilson walked only 3 in keeping the Senators winless when he completed his 7 innings of the opener as the Rams collected a 5-2 win. And then Ryan Potts secured his first victory of the weather-interrupted season when he allowed only two late-game hits as Shepherd moved through the unwelcomed weather to a 7-0 win in the nightcap.
In the opener, Wilson was almost ruthless when Davis & Elkins got men on base. He left the bases loaded with Senators in the opener. And in his 7 innings, he was aided by two double plays and finally finished off his effort when the Rams turned an around-the-horn twin killing to get their 3-run win.
Wilson had allowed 7 hits and struck out 6 in disposing of the Senators. His only real trouble came in the fourth inning when Anthony Laney sent a two-homer just beyond the snug leftfield fence. Laney’s blow brought Shepherd’s lead back to 3-2. But Wilson would not be touched again as the Rams added insurance runs in the fifth and sixth to get their third win of the disjointed season.
Brenton Doyle had a solo homer in the first and the Rams were helped by a pair of Davis & Elkins errors in the next frame. Brian McCourt and Christian Hamel had late-inning RBIs to strengthen the Shepherd lead. Syeed Mahdi was the lone Shepherd hitter with two hits.
Potts literally baffled the Senators in the nightcap. He mowed them down like a combine moving through a ripened field wheat. Until the seventh, Potts had allowed only three base runners and two of those reached on infield errors. Through those first six innings, Potts had struck out 7 and only had one ball hit out of the infield against his controlling assortment of strikes.
Taking a 7-0 lead into the last inning, Potts — an 11-game winner in 2018 — first showed any control problems. With his pitch count mounting, he walked two and surrendered a mid-inning double.
With the bases loaded, Potts fanned Connor Fitzgerald to put an exclamation point on his shutout.
Shepherd had 7 hits with lead-off man Jared Carr going 3-for-4 and driving in 4 runs. Justin Smith had a solo home run.
The snow had not been too disturbing — except maybe to the 9 players the Senators had who hailed from the Miami, Florida area.
Shepherd improved to 4-7 with the carbon-copy complete games on such a winter-like day to come home to Fairfax Field for the first time this season.