Burack delivers definitive RBIs
When freshman Joe Burack doubled home two runs in the ninth inning of Sunday’s second game against Urbana, Shepherd was able to ease past their Mountain East opponent, 19-17, and left the Ohio town winning three of the four games played last weekend.
Urbana held a 17-14 lead after six innings in Sunday’s nightcap but the Rams scored the game’s last five runs to avoid splitting the four-game series.
In winning three times the Rams moved into sole possession of first place in the league’s North Division with a 14-2 conference record. Shepherd is 17-14 overall and has a one-game lead over second-place West Liberty, which is 13-3 in the MEC race after splitting four games against Notre Dame last weekend.
Joe Rindone pitched the Rams to an 8-2 win in Saturday’s first game. Rindone improved his record to 4-2.
Chase Hoffman homered, had two hits, drove in two runs and scored twice. Brenton Doyle went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Tyler Piccolo had two RBIs.
Three errors cost the Rams in the second game on Saturday. Urbana scored two unearned runs in winning a 3-2 decision over sophomore left-hander AJ Stead, who was 2-4 after going five innings and allowing four hits. Stead was in trouble, however, because he hit four batters. Ryan Potts blanked Urbana for the game’s last three innings, but the Rams could only score in the ninth on Reid Entsminger’s two-run home run.
On Sunday, Ryan Pansch improved his record to 5-0 with six innings of work in Shepherd’s 6-3 win.
Pansch yielded only four hits and one walk while fanning six. He left with a 6-1 lead.
Ron Farley had a 2-for-2 game with two RBIs. JJ Sarty scored two runs.
In the free-scoring nightcap on Sunday, Shepherd starter John Bentley was battered for 11 hits in only three innings. Urbana collected 20 hits off Shepherd pitching and the Rams had 19 hits.
Trailing 17-15 going to the top of the ninth, Shepherd got RBIs from Mike Brown, and Brandon Kirk before Burack’s double shoved the Rams ahead, 19-17.
Urbana lost despite having a seven-run inning, a four-run inning and a pair of three-run frames.
Jacob Carney went 4-for-7 and set the Shepherd career record for hits with 251.
Doyle collected three hits and had three RBIs, Hoffman had a pair of hits and four RBIs, Burack, Sarty and Heleine all had two hits each. Sarty and Doyle also had home runs.
Shepherd was scheduled to play a make-up doubleheader at Virginia State on Tuesday before going to Wheeling Jesuit for conference doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday. The Rams have five more home dates beginning with successive doubleheaders on Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, at Fairfax Field against West Liberty.