BECKLEY — Davis & Elkins scored the tournament game’s first run, but then Shepherd managed to score the last seven runs in a 7-1 win over the Senators in the first-round of the WVIAC baseball event.
The win moved the Rams into the winner’s bracket of the double elimination tournament where they faced West Virginia State, a 3-1 winner over Fairmont.
Paul Hvozdovic was Shepherd’s winning pitcher, lifting his record to 10-5 with his eight-inning effort where he allowed only seven hits and one walk while fanning 10.
Chad Murphy paced the Shepherd offense with a 3-for-4 day with three RBIs, including a triple and double. Michael Lott was 2-for-4 and scored two runs. Ryan Messina had two RBIs.
Kyle Crist led the Senators with a 3-for-4 afternoon.
In its second game, Shepherd fell victim to West Virginia State, losing 5-3 when the Rams left 15 runners on base.
The Yellow Jackets’ Tyler Thompson went the first eight innings and allowed six hits and seven walks but fanned nine. Falbo got his second save of the tournament when he pitched a scoreless ninth.
Shepherd starter Davis Hall went seven innings in absorbing his third loss against seven wins. Hall allowed 10 hits, but only three of the five runs he allowed were earned.
A four-run fourth inning sparked the Yellow Jackets who were still unbeaten along with Concord.
The Rams’ Murphy, Messina and Jake Cook all had two hits, but the bottom of Shepherd’s order (Kyle Porter, Mark McCormick, Bryan DiRosario, Brandon Coffey, Tyler Thomas and T.J. Weisenburg) went a combined 1-for-20.
In its third game against Fairmont, Shepherd took a 7-0 lead but starting pitcher Ryan Pansch was removed after five innings, leaving with a 7-3 lead.
The Falcons chased Pansch’s reliever, Brian Martin (8.10 ERA) after one-third of an inning and then pummeled the Rams’ third pitcher, Tyler Thomas, to complete their comeback and win, 10-8.
Shepherd was eliminated with a 1-2 tournament record and despite three hits from Murphy and McCormick and two hits each from Lott, Cook and Porter. The Rams had 15 hits.
Despite forfeiting two games in their 48-game season, the Rams finished with an overall record of 26-22.
Concord won the tournament and received the WVIAC’s automatic bid to the Atlantic Region tournament.