Minnich hits two homers as Rams split doubleheader with ‘Jackets

INSTITUTE— Nathan Minnich hit home runs in both ends of the WVIAC baseball doubleheader split by homestanding West Virginia State and Shepherd.

The Yellow Jackets scored twice in the fifth inning of the opener to survive Minnich’s two-run homer and hand Shepherd left-hander Paul Hvozdovic the loss in their 4-3 win. Noah Blackhurst had a solo homer for the Yellow Jackets.

Minnich went 2-for-3 and drove in all three Shepherd runs. Chase Pickering was the winning pitcher and Kiser Butcher recorded a save. Hvozdovic had a 2-2 record.

In the nightcap, Minnich clubbed a two-run homer that snapped a 4-4 tie and lifted the Rams to a 6-4 win and a split of Saturday’s two games.

West Virginia State had a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Shepherd starter Brandon Coffey.

Shepherd got a run on a Chad Murphy sacrifice fly that plated Jake Cook. Travis Sluger’s RBI single that scored Ryan Messina got Shepherd its second run. With the Yellow Jackets ahead, 4-2, the Rams evened it at 4-4 when Cook and Nash Hutter were able to score runs.

Minnich then crashed a two-run shot in the top of the last inning to finally get Shepherd in front. Minnich had been walked three times prior to hitting his game-deciding blast.

Andrew Gallant pitched the last two innings, allowing no hits and only one walk while fanning three. Gallant got the win, improving his record to 1-2 overall.

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