Shepherd has smooth sailing in North Carolina
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Shepherd’s final week of tuneups for its inaugural PSAC baseball season was rewarded with four straight wins.
In two of the games — both against West Division teams from the PSAC — the Rams had stellar pitching to edge Mercyhurst, 4-2, and blank California, 1-0. Mercyhurst was ranked 20th in the nation at the time. In its other two successes, the Rams had enough runs to win against most anybody. The Rams downed Ohio Dominican, 12-7, and defeated Lock Haven, 11-1, in a game against another PSAC team that wasn’t counted as a conference game.
In the win over nationally ranked Mercyhurst, outfielder Jared Carr hammered a three-run home run in the seventh inning to provide the winning margin. Shepherd managed only four hits.
Relief pitcher Trevor Sprinkle went six scoreless innings to receive credit for the win. He allowed five hits and only one walk while fanning two.
Shepherd’s 1-0 shutout victory over California saw starting pitcher Steve Bowley improve his record to 2-2 with eight strong innings of work. Bowley yielded only five hits while striking out eight and giving up only one walk. Eric O’Brien struck out two in his one inning of work.
Shepherd got its only run in the top of the ninth when catcher Anthony Edwards singled home the run. Edwards had two of Shepherd’s six hits.
Dalton Stewart homered and had eight total bases in the win over Ohio Dominican. Daniel Keer went 2-for-6 with three RBIs, Joey Schwartz was 3-for-5 and Joey Goldsmith was 2-for-5 with two RBIs.
The Rams sprinted out to a 7-1 lead after four innings. Base running played a factor in the victory because Shepherd had nine stolen bases.
Starting pitcher Cole Dunn was the benefactor of the dozen runs, going six innings. He yielded six hits, walked only one, allowed three earned runs and fanned six in improving his record to 3-0.
The final win of the trip came over the Bald Eagles in a seven-inning game. The Rams totaled 11 hits in improving their overall record to 11-7.
A five-run fifth inning was Shepherd’s most explosive rally.
Brennan Holmes was 3-for-3 and scored three times while driving in two runs. Keer homered, had two hits and drove in four runs. Carr was 2-for-3, scoring two times and getting three RBIs. Damon Nixon was 2-for-4 and Edwards 1-for-3 while scoring two runs.
Starting pitcher Ryan Marketell improved to 2-0. He worked five innings, allowed five hits and no earned runs. Marketell did not strike out a batter, but walked only one man.
The Rams are scheduled to open the 24-game PSAC part of their schedule this afternoon at Shippensburg at 2 p.m. A conference doubleheader against those same Red Raiders is scheduled at Fairfax Field tomorrow at noon.