Shepherd stopped in Atlantic Regional baseball event
Though it won a Regional game for the first time since 2002, Shepherd couldn’t find many runs in the 2014 Atlantic Region tournament and dropped a 4-1 decision to eventual champion, Seton Hill, and then lost, 3-2, to Kutztown when the Golden Bears scored a winning run on a bases loaded walk issued by Ram reliever Tyler Thomas.
Shepherd was 1-2 in its three games in West Lawn, Pa.
Ryan Pansch, a sophomore from Washington High in the county, went six innings in the Rams’ tournament opener to help beat Winston-Salem State, 4-3. Pansch allowed eight hits and two runs, both earned. He walked three and fanned four in improving his record to 7-4. Mac West went two innings and was nicked for an unearned run, and Paul Hvozdovic pitched a scoreless ninth for a save.
Of the 10 hits the Rams managed in the one-run win, Brandon Coffey had three, Jason Hepple had two and Kyle Porter another two.
The heavy rains through Thursday night and into Friday morning forced a backup in the tournament schedule with Shepherd not starting its second game until 11:55 p.m. on Friday night. The 4-1 loss to Seton Hill was not completed until 2:32 a.m. on Saturday morning.
Hvozdovic lost for the first time all season as he yielded nine hits and four runs (all earned) in his complete-game effort.
Shepherd had only seven hits with Jacob Carney going 3-for-4 and Hepple having another 2-for-4 night.
The late night/early morning loss sent the Rams against Kutztown (Pa.) in an elimination game.
Shepherd right-hander Jamie Driver pitched seven strong innings and turned over a 2-1 lead to Thomas. Kutztown scored a run off Thomas in the eighth and had the bases loaded with one out in the ninth when Thomas walked in the game-deciding run as the clock moved close to 3 a.m.
The Rams had only six hits, one of them Ryan Messina’s RBI double that gave them a late-game lead.
Shepherd batted .258 as a team in its three-game tournament stay. It’s three opponents batted only .272 against the Shepherd pitchers that saw Regional duty.
Seton Hill, which posted a 4-0 record in the Atlantic Regional, won the event and is one of eight teams to move on to the Division II College World Series this week in Cary, NC. Joining the Griffins at the World Series will be top-ranked Tampa, Lander (SC), Chico State (California), Southern Indiana, Colorado Mesa, Minnesota State-Mankato and St. Thomas Aquinas.
Shepherd’s 39-14 overall record tied the school record for number of wins in a season. Michael Lott and Hvozdovic set individual category career records.
The Rams posted a 35-7 regular season record in the Mountain East Conference, good enough to win that portion of their late winter/early spring schedule. Shepherd went 1-2 in the MEC tournament, but it had entered that event as the No. 1 ranked team in the Atlantic Region and still received a bid to last week’s Regional held just outside Reading, Pa.