The Rams improved their record to 23-9 over the weekend with a four-game sweep of the Wheeling Jesuit Cardinals at Fairfax Field showing off not only explosive hitting but showing dominance on the mound in close games.
The Rams’ opening game Saturday was a pitching duel between Shepherds’ Sam Crater and the Cardinals’ Dillon Sunnafrank. In the game the two pitchers combined to only give up three runs and eight hits. The Rams broke the 0-0 tie in the fifth inning with a two RBI single from JJ Sarty. Wheeling Jesuit’s rally fell short in the seventh inning as Crater allowed only one run keeping Shepherd ahead for the 2-1 victory.
In game two Saturday the Rams came out guns blazing, scoring nine runs in the first inning giving them an early and commanding 9-0 lead. The Cardinals got on the score board in the second with a solo homerun. The 9-1 didn’t stay for long with the Rams launching a homerun in the third inning from Tre Porter, and the fourth from Brandon Kirk giving Shepherd a 13-1 lead after four. Wheeling Jesuit controlled the fifth, sixth, and cut the lead to 15-8. The Rams broke out again in the eighth inning scoring four more giving them their 16th, 17th,18th, and 19th runs of the game. The Cardinals added two in the bottom of the ninth but the deficit was too great to overcome as the Rams went on to win 19-10.
Daniel Heleine led the Rams at the plate going 3-6 with 7 RBI’s while Brandon Hovel picked up his first victory of the year on the mound.
In game one Sunday the Rams and Cardinals again found themselves in a pitching duel that would take all 21 outs to decide the victor. The Rams broke the ice in the first inning hitting a deep fly ball to right field scoring Jacob Carney and giving Shepherd the 1-0 lead. The Cardinals scored twice in the third giving them a 2-1 lead. A sacrifice fly from Sarty in the bottom of the third tied the game at two heading into the fourth. A towering homerun into the trees in left field from Heleine gave the Rams a 3-2 after 4. Sarty would single in fifth the giving the Rams another insurance run preserving the 4-2 victory.
John Bently improved his record to 5-2 in the victory.
Similar to game two of Saturday’s game, game two on Sunday the Rams came out swinging scoring 7 runs in the first two inning and headed into inning number three with a dominating 7-1 lead. The Cardinals scored on an error in the top of the fourth, but in the bottom of the inning the Rams countered for four runs of their own including homeruns from Heleine, Sarty, and Mike Brown making the score 12-2 after 4. A throwing error from the Cardinals and a second homerun from Heleine gave the Rams a 15-3 lead heading into the seventh. The Rams would another run in the seventh and eighth going on to win 17-5 to close out the successful series against the Cardinals.
Heleine led Shepherd at the plate going 2-4 with 4 RBI’s in Sunday’s second game. Colin Benner’s record improved to 4-1 with the victory.
The Rams will take the field again Tuesday April 19, when they travel to Slippery Rock University for a weekday double header at 2 and 4:30pm.