Rams find only losses in South Carolina
The thinnest of silver linings was found by Shepherd in its three losses to unbeaten USC-Aiken over the past weekend.
The Pacers were 7-0 after taking 9-4, 8-3 and 17-5 wins over Rams, who returned to Shepherdstown with a 1-5 record.
Besides the losses, the Rams are now burdened with an 8.82 team earned run average, 54 strikeouts in only six games and 12 errors.
None of the three games was really close. A five-run opening inning against pitcher A.J. Stead gave the Pacers a useful start in the 9-4 win in the series opener. Stead was also reached for three more runs in the fourth, his last inning. All eight runs were earned.
The Rams were limited to seven hits with only J.J. Sarty getting two hits. Sarty would get two hits in each of the three games.
Ryan Potts was Shepherd’s only effective pitcher, going two innings and allowing no runs.
USC-Aiken thumped the Rams, 8-3, in the second game.
The Pacers scored five runs, had eight hits and received four walks from second-game starter Joe Rindone. Rindone did strike out eight in his five innings. Hovel and Ryan Pansch both yielded multiple runs in their short pitching stints.
Sarty homered and was 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Ron Farley was also 2-for-4 and drove in a run. Tyler Thomas, who returned from the South Carolina trip with a .412 batting average, was 3-for-4. The Rams did manage 12 hits against Pacer pitching.
Another 12 hits by the Rams in the third game couldn’t overcome another scoring barrage by the Pacers, who carved out a 17-5 win.
Daniel Heleine had a two-run homer for Shepherd’s first two runs. Reid Entsminger had an RBI triple when he entered the game and another reserve, Eric Sloper, added an RBI single.
Sarty and Entsminger each had two hits.
John Bentley went the first three innings and was solved for seven hits, walked three and yielded nine runs, five of which were earned. Colin Benner, Ryan Simpson and Noah Auman all surrendered hits and more than one run.
Besides Thomas, Shepherd also has Sarty hitting .375 and Jacob Carney, Doyle Brenton, Tyler Piccolo and Farley with .300-plus batting averages.
However, no pitcher has an ERA of less than 4.50.