Hvozdovic blanks Battlers

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Paul Hvozdovic’s two-hit blanking of Alderson-Broaddus turned out to be about the only bright spot Shepherd found on Saturday when it split a conference doubleheader with the Battlers.

Hvozdovic fanned eight and issued no walks in winning his third straight decision and extending his record to 6-4. He received all the runs he needed in Shepherd’s 3-0 win in the opener when the Rams managed four of their seven hits in a three-run third inning. Shepherd lost the second game, 4-3, in 11 innings.

Brandon Coffey had a solo homer and then Jake Cook singled, Chad Murphy had an RBI double and Ryan Messina delivered an RBI single.

Shepherd never scored again and Alderson-Broaddus never scored at all.

Paul Hvozdovic picked up his sixth win of the season on Saturday.

Paul Hvozdovic picked up his sixth win of the season on Saturday.

The only real problem Hvozdovic encountered came when his infield made a pair of two-out errors in the seventh. But with the bases loaded, third baseman Mark McCormick, who had just committed back-to-back errors, made a diving catch of a low liner to end the game.

Hvozdovic had not allowed a hit from the third until David Bryan had one-out single in the troubled seventh inning.

In the nightcap, runs were again scarce for both teams.

Shepherd’s Davis Hall and the Battlers’ Chris Boatto matched scoreless innings until the Alderson-Broaddus fourth when a passed ball allowed a go-ahead run to score.

It stayed 1-0 until the Shepherd seventh. Boatto had a no-hitter into the seventh where retired the first two Rams, one with his fourth strikeout. Even though it hadn’t gotten any hits, the Rams could have tied the game in the third, but Cody Bumbaugh failed to tag up on a line drive to right that was caught. Bumbaugh was stranded at third when Cook grounded out to end the whisper of a threat.

With two down in the seventh, McCormick doubled and Boatto yielded a walk. Tyler Thomas scooted a ground single past the upright third baseman and McCormick scored.

The pitcher’s duel went into extra innings with Shepherd’s two hits and Alderson-Broaddus’ six hits. Both teams had eked out a run.

Hall walked the leadoff man in the eight. A pair of RBI singles followed and the Battlers had a 3-1 lead. In Shepherd’s half, Lott had a leadoff hit. And Boatto was replaced by left-hander Jeff Conley. Cook grounded a perfect double play ball near second, but a throw to first was off-line and he was safe.

Murphy unloaded a two-run homer to get Shepherd still another unlikely tie at 3-3.

Hall was lifted and Brian Martin was his replacement. In the Battler ninth, Lott made a superb diving catch in left-center and Martin escaped a bases loaded situation. Shepherd was routinely retired.

Martin allowed another two hits in the 10th, but escaped again. Shepherd was routinely retired.

In the 11th, Brandon Quay had the fifth hit off Martin. He would come around to score on Sean Collette’s single to left that got by the Ram outfielder. It was 4-3. It stayed that way only because Lott threw out a runner at the plate on Conley’s hit.

In three innings, Martin allowed seven hits and saw six Battlers’ runners stranded.

Shepherd had an real opportunity in its half of the 11th. Murphy walked and Kyle Porter had a one-out single. But McCormick bounced into a force out and Coffey watched a third strike to end the afternoon with each side winning once and losing once.

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