Rams continue to feast on conference opponents
SHEPHERDSTOWN — The weather continued in its raw ways. And Sunday was the second day of seeing Mountain East Conference teams come into Shepherd’s Fairfax Field, leaving with two losses stamped on their record by a Rams’ team that was winning its 11th straight game.
Glenville State was Sunday’s victim — falling by not-very-close scores of 10-4 and 15-2.
After sending West Virginia Wesleyan away the day before with a pair of losses, the Rams held a 4-0 league record and were 12-7 overall, after beginning the season in the South with six straight losses to UNC Pembroke and USC Aiken.
There is no patent pending as to how Shepherd forges its rallies and scores its runs. The patent has already been issued.
The top three hitters in the Shepherd batting order are all catalysts. And all three are among the best five or six hitters the Mountain East Conference has to offer.
Jared Carr, Brenton Doyle and Justin Smith often spray hits all over the friendly confines of Fairfax Field. And they just as often ignite rallies, keep rallies in run-scoring motion and score or drive in runs at a clockwork pace.
Some writer from the past might say, “As Carr, Doyle and Smith go, so go the Rams.” Glenville would have to attest to the productivity of those three batsmen.
In the taming of the Gilmer County Pioneers, Carr was 6-for-9 with two triples, two doubles and a home run. He drove in four runs. After 19 games, Carr had a .479 batting average. Doyle went 4-for-8 on Sunday, with four runs scored to keep his batting average above the .400 mark. Smith went 5-for-7 with two doubles, a triple and five runs scored.
Additional hitting help came from Syeed Mahti, who produced three hits, five RBIs and a home run in the 25-run scoring spree the Rams had. Daniel Keer, starting both ends of a doubleheader for the first time this season, went 4-for-6 with two doubles and two RBIs.
Shepherd starting pitchers Adam Miller and Steve Bowley were effective enough to both earn wins. Miller and Bowley, should they remain in position as the Rams’ third and fourth starters, will eventually become nearly as important as Carr, Doyle and Smith. In the conference tournament in early May, Shepherd will play multiple games in back-to-back days and will need competent performances from some pitchers besides Ryan Potts to be successful.
And if the Rams reach the Atlantic Region tournament again, these same pitchers would be required to at least partially tame the hitters from teams like West Chester, Millersville, Seton Hill, Mercyhurst, Winston Salem State or others, which are more than one or two cuts above that of Glenville or West Virginia Wesleyan, the team the Rams smothered on Saturday in winning two more times.