Shepherd clinches second in North, begins tournament play

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — With 20 hits, Shepherd slammed Pitt-Johnstown, 13-8, in the first game of a Saturday conference doubleheader. Even with 14 hits in the WVIAC nightcap, the Rams fell, 6-4, when the Mountain Cats’ Kyle Morrow had a three-run, walkoff homer in the seventh off reliever Tyler Thomas.

On Sunday, Shepherd strafed three more Mountain Cat pitchers for 13 hits in a nine-inning game, but the host team rallied for four last-inning runs off Shepherd relievers Matt Copley and Brandon Coffey to erase a three-run deficit and post a 6-4 win.

The 1-2 record on the weekend left the Rams in second-place in the North Division and solidified their schedule in this week’s WVIAC tournament.

In its 13-8 win, the Rams had Ryan Messina with four hits, Kyle Porter had four hits, Michael Lott weigh in with three hits as did Chad Murphy. Both Mark McCormick and T.J. Weisenburg chipped in with two hits. Porter homered.

Ryan Pansch went four innings in relief of starter Paul Hvozdovic and was the winner, raising his record to 4-3.

In the 6-4 loss, Shepherd had Messina and Weisenburg both with three hits and Lott and Bryan DiRosario with two hits. Lott homered.

On Sunday, Lott had three hits and both Messina and Porter contributed two hits.

The Rams open tournament play this afternoon with a 3:30 p.m. game against Davis & Elkins in Beckley. The Senators finished third in the South Division.

The final conference standings showed (North Division) Seton Hill, Shepherd, West Liberty and Fairmont from first to fourth and (South Division) West Virginia State, Concord, Davis & Elkins and Charleston from first to fourth.

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