Shepherd wins opener behind Hvozdovic’s first win in four starts
SHEPHERDSTOWN — After winning 10 games last season as a sophomore, Shepherd left-hander Paul Hvozdovic got his first win in four starts this year when the Rams drowned Lock Haven, 21-4, in the first game of Saturday’s non-conference doubleheader at Fairfax Field.
Shepherd came into the weekend doubleheader with a team batting average that hovered just above the .230 mark. However, Lock Haven’s first-game pitchers were unable to do what other opponents have done to the Rams’ lineups this season.
There were 16 Shepherd hits and an 11-run inning to partially hide the Rams’ 3-8 overall record. Lock Haven remained winless at 0-4.
Hvozdovic was given immediate run support as Shepherd had seven runs after three innings. The Bald Eagles reached Hvozdovic for Tyler Yesensky’s solo homer and three runs in three turns.
Another three-run flurry bounced Shepherd’s lead to 10-4.
Ryan Pansch relieved in the fifth and fanned four in his two scoreless inings. Freshman Daniel Castro finished the mismatch with a scoreless inning in his second appearance of the season.
T.J. Weisenburg reached base five times and was 3-for-3 while scoring four runs for the Rams. Tyler Thomas had his second hit of the season, a grand slam homer. He scored three times.
Jake Cook went 4-for-6 and drove in five runs. Ryan Messina collected three doubles and scored three runs. Michael Lott had two hits and scored three times. Brandon Coffey also had two hits and scored three runs.
Hvozdovic’s five innings showed him allowing five hits, fanning three, and walking two. His record was 1-2.
Any thoughts of Shepherd’s offensive troubles vanishing with the first-game shower of hits were washed away when the Bald Eagles’ Parker Watson fired a complete-game four-hitter at the Rams. Lock Haven, in winning by a 3-1 score, scratched out a meager four hits off Josh McCauley (five innings, two unearned runs, two hits, one walk, and four strikeouts) and Matt Copley (two innings, one unearned run, two hits, no walks, and one strikeout).
Watson dominated the punchless Rams with his strikes. He walked only two of the 27 batters he saw in his seven-inning masterpiece. His four strikeouts were proof he wasn’t overpowering with anything other than his control.
The Rams were left with a 3-9 record and Lock Haven had broken through and was 1-4 overall.
Shepherd went back to looking for another hitter or two that could move its team batting average above the .265 mark.