Both pitching, hitting on display as Rams pummel Bobcats
How did Shepherd better its 15-0 baseball win over West Virginia Wesleyan last Wednesday? By slamming the Bobcats 16-0 in the second game of the Mountain East Conference doubleheader at chilly Fairfax Field.
Two shutouts. Two games that featured a combined 31 runs, 33 hits, two eight-run innings and a seven-run inning from the Shepherd batsmen.
In both wins, the Rams opened their offensive assaults with multi-run first innings.
In both wins, Shepherd pitchers repeatedly rebuffed any Bobcat scoring threats with starters Sam Crater and Brian Martin getting the wins, each working four shutout innings. Crater was pitching on two days rest and Martin was making his first start of the season after recording three saves in three chances out of the bullpen.
In the opener, eight of the nine Shepherd starters had at least one hit with Dom Wyshinski leading the way with his 4-for-4 game where he had four RBIs and seven total bases. Daniel Heleine drove in three runs, Jacob Carney contributed three hits and Bryce Shemer hit his first home run of the season that has seen the Rams stampede out of the gate with a 16-2 record.
In the nightcap, it was an eight-run first inning that set the tone.
Wyshinski drove in three runs and Zane Bard also had three RBIs.
Leading 9-0 in the sixth, the Rams detonated another explosion that gave them a seven-run inning that included freshman Chase Hoffman’s first home run.
Shemer, J.J. Sarty, Matt Wilson and Bard all had two hits as the Rams, winners of 13 straight games, made the most of six extra base hits and 20 baserunners.
Martin went the first four innings before being replaced by one-inning pitchers Gabriel Castro, Austin Guy and Austin Hale.
When all the cannon firing was over, Shepherd had upped its team batting average to .370 in its 18 games and lowered its team earned run average to 1.72.
Good Friday, April 3 is the next scheduled home date and the Rams will see Glenville in a 1 p.m. doubleheader that afternoon as well as another conference doubleheader the next day at 1 p.m against the same Pioneers.
The early-season exploits have drawn some national attention. Shepherd was ranked 25th in the country in one NCAA Division II poll.
Shutouts and double-figure scoring outputs have kept the Rams on top of the conference standings . . . and given them the proper start if they want to receive a repeat bid to the NCAA’s Atlantic Region tournament in mid-May.