A few weeks ago, the Shepherd University baseball team was struggling mightily. Their record was 0-5, and things were looking rough. However, since their visit to the Palmetto State they have more than righted the ship, and have been very strong in WVIAC Conference play. In the past week the Rams took on both Charleston and West Liberty, going 4-1 over a five game stretch.
In the first game of a doubleheader against Charleston, the Golden Eagles would hand the Rams their only loss of the week in a low-scoring affair. Catcher Chad Murphy went 1-4 with a home run, recording the only RBI of the day for the Rams. Third baseman Mark McCormick went 2-3 with a double and short stop T.J. Weisenburg went 2-2 on the day. On offense, that was about all the Rams could muster. On the rubber Davis Hall went for 3 innings with no hit, no runs and two walks to go along with three strikeouts. Ryan Pansch would relieve Hall after three innings, tossing two innings of two hit ball while giving up one earned run, one walk and three strike outs. Paul Hvozdovic took the loss for the Rams, throwing three innings, giving up five hits and two earned runs to go along with two strikeouts. The Golden Eagles would defeat the Rams 3-1.
Shepherd broke out of their offensive shell in the second game of the day, leaving one to wonder how they could record one run earlier in the day, but see twenty men touch home in the nightcap. Center fielder Michael Lott went 3-5 on the day, recording two runs to go along with three RBI. Right fielder Jake Cook was 2-5 with a run, while designated hitter Ryan Messina was 4-4 with four runs and an RBI. Left fielder Kyle Porter went 3-4 with two runs and three RBI, while third baseman Mark McCormick finished 2-3 with two runs and four RBI. Second baseman Bryan DiRosario went 2-3 with two runs and three RBI, first baseman Tyler Thomas finished 1-3 with three runs and an RBI and short stop T.J. Weisenburg ended the day going 2-3 with one run and two RBI. Brandon Coffey threw three innings of five hit, two run ball before giving way to the winning pitcher, Brian Martin. Martin tossed two innings and gave up just two hits along with no walks or runs. Matt Copley finished up the day, tossing two innings of two hit ball and recording the Rams only strikeout on the day.
The Rams absolutely obliterated West Liberty over a three game series, recording the sweep in ridiculous fashion. In the first game of the three game series, center fielder Michael Lott went 2-5 with three runs, first baseman Jake Cook went 2-3 with two runs, three RBI and one walk while third baseman Mark McCormick went 3-4 with one run and one RBI. Ryan Messina and Kyle Porter both recorded two hits, as well as a home run each. Paul Hvozdovic got the win, going six strong innings of one run ball. He allowed six hits, no walks and struck out five. Tyler Thomas pitched the seventh inning, allowing one hit and picking up one strikeout.
In the middle game of the three game set, the Rams offense continued to run like a well-oiled machine. Michael Lott went 2-3 with three runs and an RBI, Jake Cook went 2-3 with two runs and a walk, Chad Murphy was 1-2 with two runs and a walk and Ryan Messina went 2-3 with one run and three RBI. However, third baseman Mark McCormick may have only recorded one base hit on the day, but what a hit it was. In the bottom of the third inning, McCormick hit a three-run home run, stretching the Ram lead to 6-0. Davis Hall picked up the win for the Rams, going five innings, allowing two hits, no runs, two walks and fanning five. Daniel Castro pitched the last two innings for the Rams, allowing two hits, one walk and striking out two.
The final game of the series was much more down to earth for the Rams, winning by a score of 7-3. First baseman Jake Cook went 2-5 with an RBI, catcher Chad Murphy went 2-4 with a run and an RBI, short stop T.J. Weisenburg finished 1-3 with a run and a pair of RBI while left fielder Ryan Messina went 3-4 with one run, one RBI which came by a home run, his third home run of the season. Pitcher Ryan Pansch started the game for the Rams, tossing four innings of six hit, three run ball, of which two runs were earned. He allowed one walk to go along with four strikeouts. Brian Martin would pick up the win for the Rams, throwing another four innings while allowing four hits, no runs and picking up two strikeouts.
The Rams are very much staking their claim for the final edition of the WVIAC. With how much the team has improved from the beginning of the season, it seems like a reasonable expectation. Up next, the Rams take on Ohio Valley away in Vienna, West Virginia before they will host Alderson-Broaddus in Shepherdstown.