In their only game of the week, the Shepherd Rams baseball squad lost to the University of Tampa Spartans by a final score of 7–2. Much of the Spartans’ victory was in large part due to right fielder Zach Gawrych going three-for-three and scoring two runs for the number one ranked Spartans.
The Spartans struck first, scoring four runs in the second inning and never looking back from that point. By the end of the third inning of the game, the score was 5–0 in favor of the Spartans. It wasn’t all doom and gloom for Shepherd as Spencer Wolfe and T.J. Weisenberg drove in the Rams two runs while both recording multi-hit games. However, in the end, it just was not enough. Michael Lott also recorded a hit in the game, extending his hit streak to three games. The result may not have been what the team was looking for, but individual players were certainly chipping in and doing their part.
Sam Crater took the loss for the Rams. He started and pitched the first four innings of the game, giving up seven runs and eight hits. Naturally, his earned run average took a major dent after an outing like that. As a pitcher, starting off the season like that can be rough. Crater will be fighting the earned run average statistic the entire season. On a much more positive note, relief pitcher Jamie Driver of Kettle Run High School in Broad Run, Va. threw four shutout innings in relief of Crater. David Heintz picked up the win for Tampa, allowing just two runs through five innings of work.
This marked the final game of the Prestige Appliance Classic. The Rams finished with no wins and three losses at the tournament. The Rams also started in the exact same fashion last year at the same tournament but were able to finish over the .500 mark by the end of the season.
This tournament usually involves some very talented teams. While the Rams may not be picking up wins by playing this level of competition, they are definitely using the opportunity as a way to measure their talents and abilities against some of the best competition that Division II has to offer. The teams that Shepherd faced in this tournament will not reflect the level of competition they will face as they enter into Mountain East Conference action.
The game against Pitt-Johnstown that was scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 15 has been postponed due to the snowstorm. No makeup game has been announced at this time, so make a point to stay aware of the potential changed date.
The Rams will now have to wait two weeks until they play their next games. Those games will be on Saturday, March 1 and Sunday, March 2 at the University of Virginia College at Wise. It will mark the first time that the Rams will play a conference game in the Mountain East Conference. Their first conference home game will come on March 15 when the Rams will take on the Mountain Lions of Concord.