Comebacks get Rams past West Virginia State
Another neutral field doubleheader sweep – this time against West Virginia State – kept Shepherd in first place in the North Division of the Mountain East Conference.
Playing at the Sue Morris baseball complex at Glenville State for the sixth straight game, Shepherd overcame a two-run deficit in Game One to post a 4-3 win over the Yellowjackets. In the second game, West Virginia State had a five-run second inning, but saw that outburst trumped by Shepherd’s 10-run explosion in its half of the second.
Shepherd eventually went on to win, 12-6, giving it six consecutive wins at the Sue Morris complex: two against Glenville, two against Charleston and two against West Virginia State.
The Rams improved their conference record to 7-1 and their overall mark to 12-8. The South Division Yellowjackets dipped to 3-4 in the league and 11-9 overall.
Shepherd trailed 3-1 in Game One when it scored two runs in the fourth to even at 3-3. Justin Smith scored on Eddie Nottingham’s RBI single and Nottingham later scored on an error. In the sixth, Nottingham singled and eventually scored the game-winning run on Smith’s RBI single. Both Smith and Nottingham had a pair of hits as the Rams were limited to just six hits.
Mitchell Johnson, with two scoreless innings of work, received credit for the win after Colin Benner went the first five innings, allowing three earned runs and five hits.
Shepherd quickly erased the ‘Jackets 5-0 lead in the second on Christian Hamel’s two-run single, Atkinson’s two-run single and Daniel Heleine’s three-run homer.
Brenton Doyle, Giovanni Torres and Atkinson each contributed three hits to Shepherd’s 16-hit offense.
Adam Miller was the winning pitcher, going four innings and allowing just one run, without any walks, while fanning three. Miller replaced Wes Martin, who got six outs while yielding five runs (four earned) and five hits.
Shepherd’s 20 games have seen the Rams only play at home on two dates and go 2-1 against Queens (NY) in nonconference games.