Rams adjust to win two after snow postpones games
Nearly a foot of snow caused Shepherd’s baseball team to make another adjustment to its oft-changed schedule, but playing at a neutral site wasn’t much cause for concern as the Rams defeated Charleston, 7-0 and 9-2, to sweep a conference doubleheader against the Golden Eagles last Sunday at Glenville’s Sue and Ike Morris complex.
In Game One, Christian Hamel and Nick Atkinson hit a pair of home runs to provide right-hander Ryan Potts with all the runs he needed. Potts improved his record to 5-1 with his complete-game, two-hit shutout. He lowered his ERA to 2.72 with his eight-strikeout performance.
All of Shepherd’s runs came via the long ball, as its other two runs were provided by Dalton Haymaker’s two-run shot in the fifth. Hamel went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and three RBIs. Atkinson was 3-for-4 with the three runs scored and two RBIs.
In the nightcap, The Rams had 11 hits and had taken a 5-0 lead after only two innings.
Daniel Heleine had a two-run homer to get Shepherd’s five-run second inning underway. Atkinson, Brenton Doyle and Hamel had RBIs in the second inning uprising.
Atkinson scored on a wild pitch and drove in a run in the fifth as Shepherd extended its lead to 7-1. Trenton Burgreen poked a two-run single into the outfield for Shepherd’s last two runs.
Left-hander Justin Smith went six innings to notch his third win against only one loss. Smith yielded nine hits but didn’t allow any walks to tame the Golden Eagles. Both runs off him were earned.
Atkinson completed his hit-studded afternoon with three more safeties. He drove in two runs and scored twice. Haymaker went 3-for-4 in the nightcap and scored two runs. Heleine had six total bases when he added a double to his home run.
Shepherd had a 10-8 overall record and was 5-1 in the Mountain East Conference.
Smith led six Rams who were hitting better than .300 with his .429 batting average. Haymaker, recently installed as the starting third baseman, was at .406, and Hamel had raised his average to .400. Doyle was at .363, Atkinson at .333 and second baseman Eric Sloper at .305.
The Rams had a team batting average of .314 through 18 games, but their team earned run average was 7.00. Potts had half of the team’s 10 wins, and Smith had 30 percent of the wins.