Rams fall behind quickly, drop Ahearn Tourney opener
By Shaun Moriarty
Citizen Chronicle Writer
HUDSON — The Shepherd Hill Rams got off to a rough start to open the John Ahearn Memorial Tournament on Tuesday, falling 13-5 to the Hudson Hawks.
Trouble hit quickly for the 0-3 Rams as starting pitcher Jake Schafer was hit for three runs in the first inning, and then two more in both the second and third innings. By the end of his day, Schafer would be charged with eight runs, six earned, on six hits and five walks while striking out six in five innings of work. Jacob Holmgren fared no better in relief, thanks in part to the defense, as he gave up five runs, three earned, on two hits and two walks in one inning on the mound.
A big part of Hudson’s early attack came from aggressive baserunning as the Hawks recorded five stolen bases in the first inning alone. Two fielding errors by Shepherd Hill helped push runs across the plate in that first inning as well.
The Rams showed some fight and came back in the top of the third inning. Trailing 5-0, Shepherd Hill put up five runs to the game. The big hit in the inning being a bases-clearing triple off the bat of Chris Kustigian.
Hudson countered with a pair of runs in the home half, regaining a lead they would not relinquish for the rest of the game. Shepherd Hill threatened in the fifth inning, sending the go-ahead run to the batter’s box as the Rams loaded the bases with one out. Thomas Hydro was able to rebound from some control troubles to put the fire out without a single run crossing the plate. Hydro worked two scoreless innings in relief, allowing one hit and issuing two walks and fanning three. Sam Stout made the start and picked up the win for Hudson, though he was charged with five earned runs on two hits and four walks with two strikeouts in three innings.
Kustigian paced the Shepherd Hill offense with two of the team’s three hits. Anthony D’elia picked up the only other Rams hit in the contest.