Shepherd home after splitting four road games
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Charleston and West Virginia State temporarily slowed Shepherd’s march to the North Division title in the MEC, when each South Division team split doubleheaders with the Rams last weekend in Charleston and Institute.
When the Rams traveled to Kanawha County, they had a 4-0 conference record. After dividing the four-game swing against the Golden Eagles and Yellow Jackets, the Rams are now 6-2 in conference games, and lead second-place Fairmont by two games.
Shepherd staged a seven-run rally to snap an 8-8 tie in trimming Charleston, 15-8, in the opener of a doubleheader played on Saturday.
Sloppy play and ineffective pitching cost the Golden Eagles in the loss. In the seven-run sixth inning, Shepherd had Jared Carr reach safely on an error, Justin Smith get hit by a pitch, Christian Hamel draw a walk, Eddie Nottingham draw another walk and Nick Atkinson reach base on a walk.
Shepherd’s 15 runs came with only eight hits, but also 15 walks, two hit batsmen and four Charleston errors.
Nottingham was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Brenton Doyle was 2-for-3 with three runs scored and Syeed Mahti was 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Mitchell Wilson was Shepherd’s winning pitcher, working 5.2 innings and allowing six earned runs.
The Rams could eight innings.
Mahti’s two-run homer have Shepherd in front, 3-1, after four innings. But Charleston scored two runs in the sixth and then won it with a run in the eighth, after the game had gone into extra innings.
Ryan Potts pitched six innings, but left after throwing 100 pitches. Ryan Marketell was Shepherd’s losing pitcher. Charleston’s Harris was the complete-game winner, allowing only one walk to the Rams, who had nine hits.
On Sunday, the Rams dropped a 3-2 verdict to West Virginia State, before routing the Yellow Jackets, 19-2, in the second game.
In the opener, Doyle’s two-run homer in the first had Shepherd ahead, 2-0, after two innings. Getting within one run in the third, West Virginia State won, with a two-run fourth inning. Shepherd didn’t score after the first.
Doyle was 1-for-4 and Carr and Smith each had a double against Hunter Bradley, who pitched a seven-inning complete game, allowing seven hits, two earned runs and no walks.
Shepherd’s Adam Miller (2-4) was the tough-luck loser, going all six innings and yielding nine hits, only one earned run and walking two.
Shepherd drilled the Yellow Jackets, 19-2, in the nightcap, taking a 6-0 lead after three innings, and then an 11-2 lead after five. An eight-run sixth inning finished the Yellow Jackets.
Daniel Keer went 4-for-4 to lead Shepherd’s 19-hit offense. Smith went 3-for-4, with six RBIs and three runs scored. Doyle scored three times and was 3-for-5, Nottingham was also 3-for-5 with three runs scored. Carr had three RBIs and two hits, while Gio Torres was 2-for-5 with three RBIs.
Smith hammered a pair of home runs and Carr also had a home run.
Steve Bowley (4-2) went six innings, allowing only four hits and two earned runs while walking four and fanning five.
Both Concord and Virginia-Wise visit Shepherd’s Fairfax Field this weekend for conference doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.