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Runs by the dozen gets Rams past Shippensburg

By Staff | Mar 22, 2019

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Get ’em by the dozen. Or, maybe runs are cheaper by the dozen.

Shepherd swamped Shippensburg in winning a Fairfax Field doubleheader, by scoring 12-7 and 12-3 on March 13 to lengthen its winning streak to seven games and move over the break-even line with an 8-7 overall record.

It was Christian Hamel doing most of the offense’s heavy lifting in the 12-7 game, as he weighed in with a three-run homer in the first inning and a grand slam in the second inning. Hamel’s long balls helped Shepherd to a 9-1 lead after only two turns.

With seven quick RBIs from Hamel, the Rams could afford to wait on starting pitcher Eric O’Brien to throw enough strikes to keep the Red Raiders under control.

O’Brien would walk eight men in his five innings of marathon work. He faced 25 batters in his five innings, with 13 of them reaching base safely.

But by the completion of just three innings the Rams had an 11-3 lead.

Two double plays behind O’Brien were almost a necessity to keep the Red Raiders from using his generosity with walks to their advantage.

Shippensburg had only four hits off O’Brien and left seven runners stranded against him.

Besides Hamel’s two round trippers, Trenton Burgreen also added a solo shot that happened to be Shepherd’s 12th run.

Jared Carr and Burgreen scored three runs for the streaking Rams, and Brenton Doyle, Justin Smith and Hamel all scored two runs.

Logan Williamson homered in the sixth off two-inning Shepherd reliever Wes Martin.

The Rams provided second-game starter Tyler Shorter with plenty of early-inning runs.

Shepherd led, 7-0, after three innings, with Smith and Eddie Nottingham driving in first-inning runs and Doyle and Smith providing extra base hits for four more runs in the second. Smith drilled a two-run homer that plated Doyle ahead of him.

Shippensburg couldn’t score off Shorter in his three innings of work, and couldn’t score until the fifth when it reached reliever Brandon Cook for a run on Scout Knotts’ homer. But by that time it trailed, 8-1.

Giving the Red Raiders no reason to believe they could ever menace the lead, the Rams scored four more times in the sixth, to open a gaping 12-1 advantage.

Smith, pinch-hitter Joe Burack and Nottingham had the telling hits in that rally.

Shippensburg, now 5-7 overall, managed just five hits off three Shepherd pitchers in the runaway nightcap.

West Virginia Wesleyan and Glenville were due at Fairfax Field on March 16 and March 17 to help the Rams begin Mountain East Conference play.

Dozens of runs had stymied Shippensburg. And the Rams had run their blossoming winning streak to a crisp seven games.