Rams squander 4-0 lead in loss to another PSAC team
After faltering in losses to West Chester, East Stroudsburg and three times in four tries versus Millersville, Shepherd dropped a 7-6 verdict to Shippensburg last Wednesday in another lost-cause game against Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference schools.
Of the 12 losses Shepherd had, six came at the more-capable hands of PSAC schools.
Shepherd had ridden out to a 4-0 lead . . . but its errors, the walks and hit batters its pitchers doled out and the constant stream of Red Raider base runners finally took their toll and dragged the Rams down to a loss.
Neither team fielded well at all . . . and Shippensburg actually committed four errors in winning, still short of Shepherd’s five errors.
The Red Raiders had base runners galore, actually leaving the bases loaded in the first, second and third innings off Rams’ starter Ryan Potts.
When Gabriel Castro finally retired the visitors in order in the ninth, the Red Raiders had stranded 15 runners in all.
There had been 23 Red Raider base runners on the lengthy afternoon.
Shepherd’s five pitchers had walked a total of eight, hit another two batters and had eight hits coaxed off their pitches.
Only Potts and Castro had anything resembling success against the Red Raiders.
Among Shepherd’s nine hits were Daniel Heleine’s solo home run, Ron Farley’s first-inning homer and two hits from Dalton Haymaker.
The Rams gladly jumped back into their Mountain East Conference the next afternoon and defeated Virginia-Wise in a more meaningful doubleheader at Fairfax Field.
After winning both games versus the Highland Cavaliers, the Rams had a conference doubleheader in Athens against division-leading Concord, which came into Sunday’s games with an authoritative 8-2 league mark.
Shepherd left Athens town with two more MEC victories and an 11-1 league record.
Ryan Pansch got the pitching win in a 5-3 victory in the first game against the Mountain Lions. John Bentley spaced 11 hits in his seven innings in Sunday’s second game as a late-game, seven-run rally provided the Rams with a 16-4 win.
Chase Hoffman had a home run in the two-run win in the first game, and Brandon Kirk provided two RBIs.
Hoffman moved his batting average to .330 with two hits and three more runs batted in in the nightcap.
Brian McCourt, Brenton Doyle, Daniel Heleine, Jacob Carney and Tyler Piccolo each contributed two hits to the Shepherd cause in the 12-run win over the Mountain Lions.
Shepherd’s 11-1 conference record has been matched by West Liberty, which also collected 11 wins against the collection of six South Division schools.
Shepherd sees the Hilltoppers on Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, in consecutive doubleheaders at Fairfax Field in a four-game series that easily could decide the winner of the North Division.
Shepherd has 20 conference games left, all against North Division schools.