It happened again.

After three years without a loss, the Ramstein Royals lost their third game of the 2017 baseball season on Saturday, falling to the visiting Lakenheath Lancers 7-5 in the opening game of a doubleheader. The Royals earned the split with a late 7-1 win.

The Lancers pounced on their hosts in the opening game with three runs in each of the first two innings and added another in the fourth. That was enough to withstand a steady trickle of runs from the Royals, who scored in four of six innings but saw their rally fall short in the bottom of the sixth.

The Royals scored five runs in the sixth inning of the late game to pull away from the visitors.

Ramstein had no such trouble with SHAPE on Friday in recording its first doubleheader sweep of the season by scores of 20-8 and 17-3.

Aaron Schlosser and Tieran Shoffner recorded the pitching wins, respectively, while Stanley Cruz drove in a combined seven runs on the day.

While a 3-1 weekend would be considered a success for most programs, for Ramstein it’s further evidence of a dip from the heights of their DODEA-Europe dominance. The four-time defending champion Royals have split doubleheaders with three opponents this season, including Wiesbaden, Stuttgart and now the Lancers.

Kaiserslautern splits with Lancers, Spartans: At Kaiserslautern, both northern visitors earned splits with the host Raiders.

The home team scored three runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to secure a 4-1 opening win over Lakenheath on Friday. Nolan Sherman picked up the complete-game win with nine strikeouts, while Colin Zayd had a pair of hits at the plate. Lakenheath recovered in the late game for a 7-5 victory.

The Raiders took Saturday’s opener as well, pulling away from the Spartans with a six-run fourth inning on the way to a 15-4 triumph. Matthew McKeag earned the complete-game pitching win and totaled four hits and six RBI at the plate. The Raiders were again denied the sweep in the late game as SHAPE’s John Emmert drove in four runs in a 9-7 Spartan win.

Rota 13/9, Bitburg 0/6: At Bitburg, a rematch of the 2016 Division II European championship game went decisively to the defending champions.

Admiral ace Austin Curtice kept the Baron bats silent through the opener, striking out 14 hitters in a five-inning shutout performance, and picked up the save in the late game. Curtice also starred with the stick, compiling three hits, three RBI and a pair of runs in the opener and another three hits, three RBI and three runs in the more competitive nightcap.

Sam Gallardo totaled three hits, three RBI and three runs scored in the opener and earned the pitching win in the second game.

Rota went on to split a doubleheader with AFNORTH as part of its visit to Bitburg, winning the opener 14-9 and dropping the second game 18-17.

Naples 8, Stuttgart 4: Saturday at Vicenza, the Wildcats secured a victory over the Panthers.

Dradon Ingle struck out seven and yielded just two hits in five innings of work. Zach Sherer went 3-for-3 and Ian Graham went 2-for-4 to pace Naples at the plate.

The second game of the scheduled doubleheader was cancelled when the field became unavailable.

Vicenza 6/6, Vilseck 5/7: At Vicenza, both halves of a hard-fought doubleheader came down to the final inning.

Host Vicenza claimed the opener on a walk-off double by John Nelson in the bottom of the sixth inning.

The Falcons earned the split with a game-winning run off an error in the bottom of the late game’s sixth inning.

SoftballRamstein hammers SHAPE, Lakenheath: The Royals had none of the issues afflicting their baseball counterparts against the same northern opponents.

Ramstein swept SHAPE by scores of 15-0 and 26-10 on Friday, then handled Lakenheath 15-1 and 14-2 on Saturday.

Abby Walker earned the pitching win on three of the four occasions, striking out 13 over those three games. Sierra Nelson ranked among the offensive standouts with two RBI in Friday’s nightcap and another RBI in each Saturday game.

Lakenheath’s weekend wasn't entirely unsuccessful, as the Lancers routed host Kaiserslautern 30-8 in the first game of a doubleheader Friday. The Raiders bounced back for a late 18-9 victory.

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