Errors add up to break Shepherd’s winning streak
Errors, failure to get any two-out hits with at least two runners on base and the elements seemed to conspire to end Shepherd’s record 20-game winning streak.
In losing an 8-5 decision in the nightcap of Saturday’s wind-influenced doubleheader against conference rival Glenville, the Rams committed six errors, had six innings end when they couldn’t produce a two-out hit with at least two men on base and had a long drive to left stalled by the constant wind that howled in from the west at anywhere from 12-to-20 miles per hour.
The loss saw the Pioneers score eight times . . . and none of the runs was earned. Shepherd stranded 11 runners, even after batting in the seventh inning for the first time in any home game this season.
Glenville was far from perfect — committing four errors, leaving 10 runners stranded and striking out seven times against Shepherd pitching.
The Pioneers once claimed a 7-0 lead before the Rams rallied with a five-run inning of their own. In that only prosperous turn, the Rams had already scored five times and still had runners on first and third with only one out. But Spencer Wolfe hit into an inning-ending double play and Shepherd couldn’t score again.
The Rams left two runners on base in the fifth, did the same in the sixth and stranded two more men in the seventh.
Other than the five-hit fifth inning, the Rams could manage singles in only two other innings.
The long afternoon ended with Shepherd holding a 23-3 record and still showing a five-game lead over second-place West Virginia State in the Mountain East Conference standings. Glenville moved out of last place in the league with its 5-17 record.
The first game on Saturday saw Shepherd prevail, 6-3, when starting pitcher Bryan DiRosario and reliever Brian Martin limited the Pioneers to six hits while walking only two and fanning a combined three batters. Two of the runs were earned.
A three-run second inning where Bryce Shemer, Jacob Carney and Matt Wilson drove in runs was the most noise the Rams made.
Later, Dom Wyshinski drove in two runs and Daniel Heleines sacrifice fly accounted for Shepherds other three runs.
DiRosario went 5.2 innings before Martin, who is unscored on this season, struck out Kolby Abruzzino to end a bases loaded Glenville threat in the sixth.
After working a scoreless seventh, Martin had his sixth save of the year. DiRosario went to 6-0.
Wilson was 3-for-3 while Wyshinski, Shemer, and Carney all had two hits.
The Rams were scheduled to travel to see Seton Hill — the Atlantic Region’s No. 1-ranked team — on Tuesday before going on the road again to face Notre Dame in consecutive doubleheaders on April 11 and April 12.
The long, long winning streak was over but the Rams still maintained their conference lead and were 20 games over .500 after playing only 26 games.