SHEPHERDSTOWN — Morning rains inundated Shepherd’s Fairfax Field. When a drain located in right field was clogged, what amounted to a shallow pond took over the area. The driving rain had reached under the tarp covering the left side of the infield. Mud was everywhere.
The Rams were scheduled to open the WVIAC portion of their schedule at 1 p.m. against Davis & Elkins.
With buckets, brooms, rakes, squeegees, numerous bags of drying compound and shovels, the two Shepherd coaches and the entire roster of players went about trying to dry the field so the doubleheader could be played.
At 2 p.m., the first game started. It ended with an 8-2 Shepherd win. At 4:20 p.m., the nightcap was begun. It ended with a 5-3 Shepherd victory.
The Rams had won a tripleheader of sorts — beating the morning rain and sweeping two conference games from the Senators to give them the satisfaction of knowing all the labor had been worth it.
Even though it was outhit while cruising to a first-game win, Shepherd had a 4-0 lead behind left-handed pitcher Paul Hvozdovic when Jake Cook and Chad Murphy provided RBI hits.
Matt Moceri drilled a solo homer off Hvozdovic. But Shepherd quickly added more runs as T.J. Weisenburg had a two-run double and light-hitting Tyler Thomas also claimed two RBIs with a double.
Hvozdovic’s five innings gave him a win to even his record at 2-2. He was pitching on two days rest. Ryan Pansch finished it with two innings on the mound.
Josh McCauley was Shepherd’s second game starter.
After allowing a first-inning run, McCauley was staked to a 5-1 lead after five innings. Like Hvozdovic, McCauley was pitching on two days rest. He left having fanned seven Senators, walked only two, and allowing five hits. His record went to 2-3.
McCauley’s lead was provided him when Cook, Michael Lott (3-for-4), Brandon Coffey, and Mark McCormick had Shepherd RBIs.
Murphy collected his third and fourth hits of the drying afternoon, raising his batting average to .387.
Brian Martin pitched a scoreless seventh to record a save.
After having a scheduled conference doubleheader at West Virginia Wesleyan postponed earlier in the season, the Rams were willing to man the wet-field equipment to play the Senators.
The pre-games work paid off. Shepherd was 2-0 in its weather-troubled WVIAC schedule. The elements had been tamed. And the Senators had been beaten.