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Hitting shoes fit Rams in baseball sweep of Cavaliers

By Staff | Mar 23, 2015

In winning its sixth and seventh straight games of the disjointed baseball season, Shepherd not only sent UVa.-Wise away from Fairfax Field but managed to play for the first time in its rapidly-drying home park.

A pair of three-run innings and the game-closing pitching of Brian Martin gave the Rams a 6-3 win in the opener of the Mountain East Conference doubleheader . . . and the Rams bounced 16 hits off and sometimes over the fences of the friendly confines of their home grounds in winning 13-2 in the nightcap.

Shepherd completed Monday’s work with a 10-2 overall and conference record after finding suitable places to play in the late winter days in Clover, South Carolina, Mooresville, North Carolina, Frederick and finally Fairfax Field.

UVa.-Wise was left with an 0-4 conference record and a winless showing in its eight games of its problem-filled winter season.

In combing Cavalier pitching for 14 hits in the opener, Shepherd had five hits in the first inning alone where it scored three times. Another three-run splurge in the third moved the Shepherd lead to 6-0 before the Cavaliers plated all their runs in the fifth where they chased Rams’ starter Austin Hale.

John Bentley broke the UVa.-Wise fifth-inning rally and then had a shutout sixth. But Bentley departed in the seventh when the first two men he faced reached base safely. Brian Martin got credit for a save when he fanned two of the three batters he retired in order to get Shepherd’s day started in the winning direction.

J.J. Sarty had three of Shepherd’s many hits and Jacob Carney, Spencer Wolfe, Dom Wyshinski and Tre Porter all added two hits to the Shepherd hitting fire. Porter and Sam Crater each had two RBIs.

In Shepherd’s free-scoring second game win, the Rams had an 8-0 lead after only two innings — more than enough fuel for starting pitcher Bryan DiRosario to use to win his third game of the still-young season.

Wolfe, Sarty and white-hot Matt Wilson all homered for the Rams. Wilson went 3-for-3 and kept his batting average in the .500 range. He drove in four runs.

Carney went 3-for-4 while Sarty, Wolfe and reserve Daniel Heleine all contributed two hits to the hitting pyre. Sarty had three RBIs.

The second-game onslaught gave the Rams a combined 30 hits in their 12 innings of offense.

After chasing all over the landscape trying to find dry places to play in weather that showed temperatures above 45 degrees, Shepherd had beaten the Cavaliers in consecutive Sunday-Monday doubleheaders that had made all the movement worthwhile.