Notre Dame takes three of four games versus Shepherd
SHEPHERDSTOWN – Besides losing a pair of one-run decisions to Notre Dame, Shepherd failed in another close game (falling 6-3) and finally blasted the Falcons, 14-0, in the nightcap of last Sunday’s doubleheader.
A failure to find clutch hits with runners in scoring position doomed the Rams in the 6-3 loss. Shepherd stranded 11 runners in the seven-inning game, leaving at least two aboard in four of their seven turns.
Also, fielding mistakes were important in two of the three innings where the winning Falcons scored runs.
After Syeed Mahdi’s two-run homer brought the struggling Rams a 3-3 tie in the third, Shepherd couldn’t score again and stranded six runners in its final four turns.
Notre Dame pitchers walked six and also hit two Shepherd batters, but unlike the Rams, did not commit any errors.
The Falcons could have provided themselves with more breathing room, but like the Rams were stranding runners all game long. Notre Dame’s Left on Base total had mushroomed to 12 by game’s end.
Shepherd starting pitcher Mitchell Wilson’s ERA had risen to 5.18 by the time he exited in the fifth. Wilson faced four men in the fifth . . . and couldn’t retire any of them. That was the inning where the Falcons broke the 3-3 tie with three runs on four hits.
Notre Dame closer Todd Marshall made quick work of the Rams in the seventh, earning his first of two saves on the blustery afternoon.
Shepherd salvaged the last game of the four-game series with a 14-0 shelling of two of the three pitchers the Falcons tried.
Mahdi had a grand slam home run and Eddie Nottingham and Christian Hamel each drove in three runs.
A four-run opening inning had the Rams finally going in the right direction. Jared Carr led off with hard, ground hit into right. Carr simply took off running hard from the batter’s box and cruised into second standing up for a double. Brenton Doyle, Hamel and Nottingham (3-for-3) took their cues and all followed with hits.
Three hits, two walks and a hit batter were mixed to score another three runs in the fourth.
Only when Trenton Burgreen made his second out in the inning did the six-run fifth end.
Carr, Justin Smith and Hamel had hits and Mahdi lifted his grand slam homer for the last four runs.
Ryan Marketell was busy adding to his strikeout total throughout. The tall Shepherd right-hander fanned six through just three innings and completed his six shutout frames with eight strikeouts. He allowed seven hits and got out of a bases loaded situation in the fourth without any scoreboard damage. His win made him 3-1 on the rapidly ending season.
Now at 30-14 overall, Shepherd has clinched the North Division and a place in the six-team conference tournament. The regular season is finished on Sunday when Fairmont State visits Shepherdstown for a scheduled 1 p.m. doubleheader.