McCauley steps clear of trouble

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Shepherd right-hander Josh McCauley had a most unusual shutout working. Through six innings, McCauley had fanned eight Millersville batters. Nothing out of the ordinary there. But the Marauders had stranded 13 runners, leaving the bases loaded three times against McCauley.

Millersville had nicked the transfer from WVU for at least one hit in all six innings, but the Pennsylvanians couldn’t score.

By the time McCauley gave up two more singles and his fifth walk or hit batsman, he had a six-run lead. The last of Millersville’s nine hits off McCauley drove in a run. Shepherd coach Matt McCarty replaced his starter with freshman Ryan Pansch, who fanned the only man he saw and the Rams had a 6-1 win to get a split in the tundra-like conditions. The Marauders hadn’t left many runners stranded in winning the opener, 12-1.

Millersville stranded 15 runners in only seven innings in dropping the second game to McCauley and the grand slam homer of Ryan Messina. Messina’s homer moved Shephed’s precarious lead from 1-0 to 6-0 in the sixth inning.

Chad Murphy had Shepherd’s other two RBIs. Kyle Porter went 2-for-2 and scored twice.

In the opener, Millersville scored nine runs in the fifth to shatter what had been a 1-1 game through four innings.

Shepherd all-conference starter Paul Hvozdovic saw his ERA balloon to 7.71 and his record in three starts go to 0-2 when the Marauders put together six hits (including Jeff Heisey’s grand slam homer), a walk and hit batsman to plate eight of the inning’s nine runs off him.

Marauders’ left-hander Tim Mayza retired 10 Rams in a row from the first through the fourth innings. In his six innings, Mayza allowed only Jake Cook’s single and Kyle Porter’s double while fanning three and walking or hitting four Rams.

Shepherd was 2-6 overall and Millersville was 7-3 when the final out was recorded on the snow flurry-filled afternoon with its high temperature of 37 degrees.

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