Dodging snowfall, Rams overpower Charleston
Beating the problem-filled weather and beating its opponents during the early part of its baseball season hasn’t kept Shepherd from winning 12 of its first 14 games.
On Sunday, a day after its Fairfax Field was covered in a few inches of snow, the Rams used no fewer than 24 baserunners to easily tame Charleston of the Mountain East Conference, 12-1, behind the strike-throwing pitching of Sam Crater and three-inning reliever Austin Guy, who were gifted with four hits from J.J. Sarty and three more from Jacob Carney.
With a mid-week, conference doubleheader just ahead for the Rams, Crater was lifted after four innings with Guy inheriting an 11-1 lead in the fifth.
In the early, free-scoring innings for the Rams, there were seven walks gleaned from two Charleston pitchers, who also hit four Shepherd batters and were touched for five hits along the way.
Sarty also drove in three runs and scored three times as the Rams remained firmly atop the standings in the 12-school league.
Dom Wyshinski also drove in three runs and ninth-place hitter Bryce Shemer scored three times.
The tone was set early as the Rams batted eight men in the first and then batted around in the second, claiming a 7-1 lead for Crater after only two innings.
Sarty had Shepherd’s only home run but Carney, Sarty, Wyshinski and Spencer Wolfe all contributed doubles in the clinched-early win.
Crater, who improved his record to 3-1, did not walk a batter to ease his trip to the win. The senior right-hander kept Charleston off balance by showing the Golden Eagles curveballs on the first pitch when he saw runners on base.
Guy, who was credited with a three-inning save, did walk two, but was aided by a pair of double plays that helped him elude any potential trouble.
The Rams scored in every inning except the sixth where they produced three singles but stranded those runners.
Fairfax Field was made ready for baseball. And the Rams were ready to win their ninth straight game of the makeshift, make-do schedule that has made them juggling artists as well as baseball players/coaches.