ASHBORO, N.C.— Shepherd was able to play two of the three baseball games it had scheduled on last weekend’s trip to North Carolina. Sunday’s scheduled game against Tusculum (Tennessee) was rained out.
Despite 10 hits, including Michael Lott’s homer, the Rams dropped the season opener, 5-4, to Pfeiffer when the Falcons scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth off Andrew Gallant. After two outs, Gallant hit Preston Lyon with a pitch and then served up Dalton Lindley’s RBI double to left-center that plated Lyon with the game-winning run.
Sophomore Brandon Coffey went 3-for-5 and transfer catcher Chad Murphy was 2-for-3 to account for half of Shepherd’s 10 hits. Lott was 2-for-5. First-year player Ryan Messina had two RBIs.
Pfeiffer improved to 3-3 overall. Rams’ sophomore lefthanded starter Paul Hvozdovic authored six innings, yielding five hits, three walks, and two earned runs while fanning three. Gallant took over in the eighth and took the loss.
In its second game, the Rams trailed, 2-0, before rallying for nine runs in the fourth inning and continued scoring to get a 15-8 victory over Barton College. Shepherd was 1-1 and Barton was 3-4 overall.
The Rams had 10 hits with Lott going 2-for-3 and Nash Hutter going 2-for-5. Murphy scored three runs and had two RBIs. Coffey, Nathan Minnich, and Travis Sluger all scored two runs. Minnich, Hutter, and Messina all drove in two runs.
Sophomore right-hander Trevor Appleby went the first five innings and received credit for the win. He allowed two earned runs, seven hits, and one walk while fanning one.
Shepherd followed its nine-run inning with a four-run fifth where Lott, Coffey, and Murphy all had singles and the Barton defense committed four errors on the raw day where the temperature was 38-degrees and the wind was blowing at 20 miles per hour.
Shepherd travels to Alabama this weekend to play a three-game series against West Alabama in Livingston.