Errors fuel Rams’ loss to Battlers

SHEPHERDSTOWN — “Patience” wasn’t a name in either team’s batting order. That fact was easily noticed in the NCAA Division II baseball game between Shepherd and visiting Alderson-Broaddus.

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The previous day, the teams had split a doubledheader. The second game that afternoon, a loss for Shepherd, took 11 innings to complete.

Shepherd shortstop T.J. Weisenburg swings during the late innings of Sunday’s WVIAC game.

Shepherd shortstop T.J. Weisenburg swings during the late innings of Sunday’s WVIAC game.

Players were tired. A long list of mistakes followed the game from beginning to end.

The Battlers moved away from a 4-4 tie after five innings to an 8-4 win that gave them the weekend series, 2-1.

Shepherd’s first problem came before the game even started when planned starting pitcher, Ryan Pansch, was late reporting and summarily replaced by Brandon Coffey. Coffey lasted three messy innings, allowing seven hits, two walks, a home run and four runs (three earned).

The Rams trailed, 4-1, when Pansch came on to pitch in the fourth. He fanned five in his first two innings, both scoreless.

Ryan Messina’s third hit was a solo homer and used by the Rams to help get even at 4-4.

Shepherd could have been ahead except it left the bases loaded in the fifth and had a runner thrown out at first even after his grounder bounced off the chest of the shortstop and landed 12-feet away.

The Battlers would score a run in the sixth and use its parade of baserunners against Pansch and reliever Bryan DiRosario to tack on single runs in its last three turns. The last run came when Chad Murphy failed to cover second on a potential double-play grounder to shortstop.

Alderson-Broaddus had 22 baserunners and left 13 of them stranded.

In the late innings, Shepherd had interim head coach Matt McCarty ejected, had the same player who couldn’t reach first on the misplayed grounder to short thrown out at third for an inning’s third out on a hit to right field and a batter called out when he was touched by his own bunt in fair territory.

The Shepherd eighth was marred when a baserunner was hit by Kyle Porter’s ground ball to second.

The Rams had 23 baserunners and stranded 16 of them in a morbid display of clutch hitting.

Shepherd was left with an 11-5 record in the WVIAC, while the Battlers left Fairfax Field with a 10-8 conference mark.

“Patience” never found the sun-blessed afternoon.

Mistakes did. And they wouldn’t leave.[/cleeng_content]

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