Multi-run innings carry Rams past Shippensburg
SHEPHERDSTOWN — The numeral quote “23-10” had obvious significance for Shepherd after it pasted homestanding Shippensburg on an afternoon where the wind had as much to do with the outcome as did the pitching-thin teams.
Shepherd stunned the Red Raiders to the tune of 23-10 . . . and the Rams had a 23-10 record after the swirling number of home runs, base runners, hits and RBIs had finally settled after three hours and 34 minutes of the NCAA Division II baseball.
Shepherd scored in seven innings and had at least two runs in six of those turns.
Shippensburg had a total of 26 base runners against the four pitchers it faced. But the Red Raiders stranded 16 of them in squandering too many opportunities against the free-scoring Rams.
Neither side could find a pitcher that could frighten the batters. And Shippensburg tried five different arms and the Rams trotted out four pitchers.
The constantly whistling wind helped produce a combined six home runs by the teams.
Christian Hamel (six RBIs), Brenton Doyle (four RBIs) and late-entry Nick Atkinson (four RBIs) all had homers for the Rams as they were winning their fourth straight game. Eddie Nottingham continued his torrid hitting, going 4-for-5, scoring four runs and driving in two more. Nottingham, who was batting about .335 before Shepherd visited Urbana for four games, lifted his soaring average to well over .400 with his free-wheeling afternoon against the Shippensburg moundsmen.
Other Shepherd players with at least two of the team’s 19 hits were Justin Smith, Daniel Keer and Trenton Burgreen.
After its turn in the top of the third, Shepherd led, 7-1. And just a few hits, walks and extra base blows later, the Rams had an 11-3 lead.
Shippensburg would score five runs in five tries against Shepherd starter Michael Collins. And then managed four runs and nine base runners in just two turns against Tyler Shorter. But instead of just treading water against the influx of base runners the Red Raiders had, Shepherd stoked the scoreboard with 12 runs in its last three at-bats.
In thrashing the Red Raiders, Shepherd won all three games the teams played this season.
Shepherd saturated the base paths with 29 base runners.
The Rams return to Mountain East Conference play this weekend when they travel to see Wheeling Jesuit in consecutive doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.
Shepherd has a healthy five-game lead in the North Division of the MEC with its 13-3 league record as opposed to second-place Notre Dame’s 8-8 record.