Hvozdovic Extends Record as Rams Sweep WV State

The Shepherd Rams baseball team continues their strong play following a four-game sweep of the West Virginia State University Yellow Jackets. The Rams are now on a five-game win streak, improving their Mountain East Conference record to a strong 12–4 and their overall record to a respectable 14–7. They are now in second place in the Mountain East Conference behind West Liberty.

Hitting was on full display this week for the Rams. In game two of the first double header, the Rams emerged victorious by a final of 14–4. Outfielder Michael Lott, designated hitter Ryan Messina, and second baseman Jacob Carney all notched three RBI each. Carney, a freshman, also went four-for-five at the plate. Jamie Driver got the win for the Rams in that matchup, pitching six innings while allowing four runs and striking out five. Driver improved his record on the season to 3–1.

In the first game of the same double header, the Rams took the spoils by a final of 7–5. Southpaw Paul Hvozdovic had another solid outing, going six innings, allowing four runs, three of those runs earned, and three strikeouts. He is now 4–0 on the season and has 26 career wins as a Ram, extending his school record. Ryan Pansch closed the game out to get his first save on the season, striking out the side in the process. For the hitters, catcher Spencer Wolfe was vital to the team’s success.  He went two-for-three, scoring twice and driving in two more runs with a home run, which just happened to be his team-leading fourth long ball of the season.

The next day, a very rare occurrence happened in the first inning. The Rams were threatening with runners on first and third base with no one out, and the Yellow Jackets converted a triple play to get them out of trouble. Wolfe hit a grounder to third, the fielder threw to second and then on to first for the double play, but they decided to send the runner on third home. The first baseman for the Yellow Jackets, Andrew Pickering, gunned him out at the plate to complete the triple play.

Despite the bad luck break for the Rams, they went on to win the game 7–4. Outfielder Kyle Porter had a great game going three-for-four at the dish, driving in two runs as well as scoring once himself. Porter also recorded two stolen bases. He now has 16 stolen bases on the season without being thrown out once.

Mac West started the game for the Rams, going three innings without allowing a run. However, he loaded the bases in both the first and third innings before getting out of the self-inflicted jams. Bryan DiRosario came out of the bullpen and got the win, his first of the season.

In the final game of the series, the Rams took it by a final score of 5–3. Matt Wilson hit his second home run on the season and added three more hits. Wilson leads the team now with an astounding .473 batting average. Austin Hale started the game and got the victory for the Rams, pitching six runs while only allowing one unearned run on four hits.

Up next on the schedule, the Rams will travel to West Virginia Wesleyan to face off with the Bobcats. They sport a 3–7 record on the season. Following that, the Rams will return home for a four-game series against Wheeling Jesuit who carry an even 9–9 record this season.

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