LIVINGSTON, Alabama— West Alabama pitching baffled Shepherd on Friday when the Tigers swept the visiting Rams, 11-2 and 4-0. With the twin wins, the Tigers increased their winning streak to five games, while Shepherd went to 1-4 overall.
Shepherd had only five hits in losing the 11-2 opener. Nathan Minnich’s solo homer accounted for one of the runs. Winning pitcher Barry Meeks (2-0) fanned nine in six innings. Neal Lambert struck out another three in 1.1 innings.
The Tigers combed loser Paul Hvozdovic (0-2) for eight hits and used two walks to score six runs (four earned) off him in just four innings. West Alabama stole four bases.
In the nightcap, West Alabama pitchers Jessie Boyd (2-1) and Jeremy White blanked the Rams on just three hits while fanning seven. Boyd went 5.2 innings and White finished off the seven-inning shutout.
Minnich, Aaron Scoville, and Chad Murphy had Shepherd’s hits.
Trevor Appleby (1-1) took the loss and went four innings, allowing three hits and three walks while allowing three earned runs and fanning only one.
After five games in the South, Shepherd has a team batting average of .214.
It was just Shepherd’s third baseball game of the season. And it was against unbeaten Tusculum.
The Rams committed four errors. And their batters struck out 12 times. The Pioneers gleaned 13 hits off four Shepherd pitchers . . . and Tusculum remained unbeaten at 7-0 with a 9-3 win over the Rams, then 1-2 with the loss last Wedneday at spacious Pioneer Park.
Tusculum already had a 3-0 lead before Shepherd could score twice in the fifth on sophomore Aaron Scoville’s two-run double down the right-field line.
The Pioneers had a 4-2 lead when Nathan Minnich slammed his first home run of the season, bringing the Rams to within a run of the Pioneer lead at 4-3.
Shepherd relief pitchers Brian Martin (1.1 innings, three hits, two earned runs, no walks, no strikeouts) and Sam Beatty (one inning, three hits, three earned runs, one walk, and no strikeouts) were treated rudely by the Pioneers, who scored another two runs in the seventh and three more in the eighth to achieve the six-run win.
Not only did Shepherd batters strike out 12 times (outfielder Michael Lott fanned four times and Minnich twice) and its fielders commit four errors (shortstop Nash Hutter had his third and fourth error of the three-game season), but Tusculum stole five bases against catcher Ryan Messina.
Matt Henriksen was 3-for-3, Nate Reid 2-for-3, Cody Coffman 2-for-5, and Lukas Graves 2-for-5 as Tusculum banged out 13 hits against the four Shepherd pitchers.