Rams defeat Aiken for first time in school history
AIKEN, SC – With Nick Atkinson, Trenton Burgreen, Eric Sloper and Christian Hamel all providing multi-hit games and pitchers Ryan Potts and Colin Benner throwing mostly strikes, Shepherd defeated South Carolina- Aiken, 13-7, on Saturday to register the school’s first-ever win over the Pacers. Aiken had beaten Shepherd the previous two days and owned an 11-0 all-time record against the Rams.
Shepherd led 9-0 after just two innings before the Pacers scored the game’s next six runs.
Potts – expected to be Shepherd’s No. 1 starter when the Mountain East Conference portion of the schedule begins – struck out seven in his five innings of work. He walked only one, giving him a chance to win even though he allowed 12 hits. Benner worked four innings and fanned eight in getting credit for a save. He walked only two.
Atkinson had four hits and scored two runs. Burgreen had three hits and three RBIs. He’s hitting. 368 after six games. Sloper went 2-for-5 and drove in a pair of runs. His batting average is .375. Hamel had two hits and left South Carolina with a .364 batting average.
Justin Smith reached base safely three times, had a hit and an RBI. His batting average after a half dozen games is .500.
In their first game against Aiken, the Rams fell 16-7, after falling behind 5-0 after only one inning. The losing Shepherd pitcher was Adam Miller, now 0-2, who departed before the Rams fell back 10-0 in the fourth.
Shepherd had 13 hits, but fell victim to nine strikeouts versus Pacer pitching.
Brenton Doyle, batting .290 after six games, went 3-for-5, and Hamel went 3-for-5 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Sloper was 2-for-4 and drove in two runs.
Shepherd pitcher Logan Manz walked three and surrendered three earned runs without getting an out.
The Rams lost, 8-1, in another game in Aiken. Shepherd managed only four hits and the team struck out 10 times.
Wes Martin allowed four runs in the second inning and went six innings while yielding six earned runs.
After six games and a 1-5 overall record, the Rams have a .281 team batting average, while the opposition’s combined batting average is .321. Shepherd’s team ERA is 11.94.
Against the Pacers in three games, the Rams committed only four errors. Shepherd has struck out 62 times in six games.
The Rams aren’t scheduled to play again until facing host Virginia State on Feb. 24 in a doubleheader.