Baseball Rams tread water in North Division

In the past fortnight, Shepherd traded baseball wins and losses like they were playing the Dow Industrials on the New York Stock Exchange.

First of all, the Rams won two of three games in Phillipi against WVIAC North Division rival, Alderson-Broaddus. But then when they were back in Shepherdstown at Fairfax Field they dropped two of three games against another North Division rival, Fairmont.

The results of those six conference games left the Rams with an 18-8 North Division mark — good for second place behind only Seton Hill — and a 26-15 overall record.

In the three game set against Alderson-Broaddus, Shepherd outlasted the Battlers, 11-9, in a single game played on April 15. Bryan DiRosario went 3-for-4 and Aaron Scoville had two hits and drove in four runs. Travis Sluger homered and drove in a pair of runs.

Trevor Appleby pitched 3.2 innings in relief for the win and Paul Hvozdovic registered a four-out save.

In the opener of a April 14 doubleheader, it was Hvozdovic notching his ninth win as the Rams downed the Battlers, 7-1. Hvozdovic improved his record to 9-2 with a three-hitter while fanning five. He walked none.

Nathan Minnich clubbed two home runs (his 17th and 18th of the season) and scored three runs. Nash Hutter homered, had two hits and four RBIs. Ryan Messina homered and was 2-for-3.

The Battlers won the nightcap of the April 14 doubleheader, 10-9, when they scored three last-inning runs off Shepherd losing pitcher Justin Byrd. Byrd had also allowed runs in the six-run sixth inning the Battlers had when they chased Shepherd starter Andrew Gallant.

Byrd allowed six earned runs in 2.1 innings.

Hutter was 2-for-2 with two RBIs. Brandon Coffey drove in three runs and Sluger went 2-for-4, but Shepherd collected only seven hits.

On Friday, April 20 at Fairfax Field, the Rams were swept in a doubleheader by Fairmont. The Fighting Falcons posted a 5-3 win in the first game then completed their sweep with a 9-8 win in the nightcap.

In the opener, Hvozdovic suffered only his third loss when he yielded five runs (four earned) in five innings. He left, trailing 5-2.

Of the eight hits Shepherd had, Chad Murphy was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Jake Cook went 2-for-3.

In the one-run loss in the nightcap, Shepherd actually scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the game into extra innings at 8-8. But the Fighting Falcons plated an eighth-inning run off Rams’ pitcher Byrd to seal the victory.

Michael Lott and Cook had Shepherd homers and Lott had three hits and three RBIs.

Sluger, Coffey, and Cook all contributed two hits.

Shepherd made five errors in the game.

Salvaging at least one win in the three-game series, the Rams managed 18 hits last Saturday to get an 18-8 conference win over the Fighting Falcons.

Reliever Brian Martin went the last four innings of the nine-inning game to register his first save of the campaign. Even though he was tagged for two runs in 2.2 innings, Byrd was credited with the win after starter Appleby could only go 2.1 innings while allowing six runs.

Murphy was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Minnich was 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored while hammering another home run, his 19th of the year.

Lott went 3-for-5 and scored three times. Kenny Beyer, Travis Sluger, and Coffey all had two hits with Sluger scoring four runs and Coffey scoring three times.

The Rams close out their home schedule with a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Fairfax Field on Saturday against North Division rival Pitt-Johnstown and then a 1 p.m. single game on Sunday against the same Mountain Cats.

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