Hornets blast Mounties on strength of 23 hits

WINCHESTER – Shenandoah University’s baseball team hit the film room pretty hard following Tuesday’s shutout loss to Bridgewater. On Thursday, the Hornets hit the ball pretty hard.

SU smashed 23 hits against visiting Mount Aloysius in Thursday’s non-conference game at Bridgeforth Field, and the Hornets broke out for an 11-run fourth inning to breeze past the Mounties for a 20-4 victory.

It was the second time this season Shenandoah (14-5) has scored at least 20 runs in a game.

“That’s a great credit to Coach (Bruce) Cameron, our hitting coach, and our hitters,” Hornets head coach Kevin Anderson said. “We were humbled pretty good the other day, getting shutout, and to those guys’ credit they spent a lot of time in the video room. The players were receptive, had a good practice (Wednesday), working on really getting the lower half through the baseball and get the head of the bat out. It was a great day to hit, wind blowing straight out, but the credit goes to Coach Cameron and the guys buying in and making adjustments.”

Twelve different Hornets registered at least one hit in the win, while half of those players had a multi-hit outing. Shenandoah had nine extra-base hits, including three home runs.

“Just a lot of energy from our guys,” said SU junior third baseman Nate Loman, who was 4-for-5 with a homer, two doubles and four RBIs. “Once those guys got on the first inning, which Joe (Coleman) got the first hit, it just put a spark in all of us and we all (kept) our weight back and drilled the ball to all parts of the field.”

SU briefly trailed Mount Aloysius (8-7) after Connor Bowie’s two-run home run off Hornets starting pitcher Zach Teeple in the top of the first but Shenandoah came back to tie the game at 2-all in the second inning.

Hornets junior catcher Dan Cameron led off the second with a solo homer to left field off Mounties starter Andrew Shreiner, and Loman followed two batters later with an RBI double.

Cameron, who went 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double and four RBIs, was a triple shy of the cycle. He left the game in the middle of his fifth at-bat in the sixth inning after feeling a pop in his hand during a swing and said he was headed for X-rays after the game.

“We’ve been working on hard and soft away, and I think we all stayed back and got our foot down and were able to hit the ball well,” Cameron said.

“I’ve just been focused on tall back side, stiff front leg and I got my foot down and let her go.”

SU added a run in the third on Jake Loew’s RBI single before opening the game up with 11 runs on 10 hits and four Mount Aloysius errors in the fourth inning, which began with eight straight hits for the Hornets. Loman started the barrage with a solo homer to left field that landed on nearby Bodie Grim Field.

“Lately I’ve been working – because I’ve been lunging a lot – I’ve been working on keeping my weight back and I felt good,” said Loman, who was batting in the eight spot for SU. “I was keeping my weight back. Had a good BP session before the game and it just carried into the game. I was seeing the ball really well.”

Tristan Baker and John Wilt added back-to-back RBI singles a few batters later, and Loew made it 7-2 Shenandoah with his second straight run-scoring single. Cameron nearly had a third home run when he doubled off the fence in center to drive in two before Luke Nussman’s sacrifice fly became the inning’s first out.

Loman, batting for the second time in the fourth inning, doubled home another run with a liner into the right-center field gap, and two errors extended the inning before Wilt – who was 3-for-4 with five RBIs – drove in two more with a double to put SU up 14-2 before the inning finally came to an end.

“It was just basically a waterfall for us,” Loman said.

The outburst provided plenty of run support for Teeple, as the freshman lefty improved to 3-1 after tossing six innings while allowing three earned runs on four hits, four walks, a hit batter and five strikeouts.

“Teeple threw well,” Cameron said. “His ball was moving a lot. He focused on the changeup and his offspeeds were working, his fastball was working. He worked quick and he worked well.”

Cameron belted a solo home run to lead off the fifth inning, which also included a sacrifice fly from Baker and a two-run single by Wilt that put the Hornets up 18-3.

Coleman, Loew and Lew Johnson each had two hits for SU.

Andrew Shreiner took the loss for Mount Aloysius after allowing nine runs (seven earned) on 11 hits and a walk. The Mounties committed seven errors in the loss.

Shenandoah returns to action Saturday with an Old Dominion Athletic Conference noon doubleheader at Hampden-Sydney.

Contact staff writer Brad Fauber at 540-465-5137 ext. 161, or bfauber@nvdaily.com