Head coach Luther Bramblett talks to Patriot hitters between innings.Head coach Luther Bramblett talks to Patriot hitters between innings.

Bat Pats tangle with Tigers in thrilling conference series

        It would be hard to say that the two baseball teams that battled for the Mid-South Conference lead last weekend were not evenly matched. Luther Bramblett’s St. Catharine Bat Pats traveled to Campbellsville and tangled with the Tigers in three one-run games that were all decided in the final inning.

       After winning game one on Friday 5-4, Campbellsville bounced back to sweep Saturday’s doubleheader by scores of 2-1 and 3-2. In a logjam for first place, Lindsey Wilson now sits atop the Mid-South Conference standings at 14-4. Georgetown follows at 12-5 and St. Catharine is in third place at 9-5. Campbellsville, the pre-season favorite, is in fourth at 9-6.

       “Right now any of the top four teams could end up in first place,” said Bramblett whose team is 28-18 overall. “We pretty much have to win out in the last six conference games to get first place.”

       The Bat Pats can make a big stride toward that this weekend when they host first place Lindsey Wilson for three games. Friday’s single game starts at 1:00. The first game of Saturday’s doubleheader also starts at 1:00.

       In Friday’s game at Campbellsville, St. Catharine came out with an unlikely win as they scored five runs in the ninth inning to win 5-4. Andrew Garcia’s two out single scored pinch runner Trevor Schneider with the go ahead run.

       But that was just part of the last inning drama. Campbellsville (28-12) had the tying run at third base with one out when a ground ball hit to Marcus Brown at third base resulted in a game ending double play. Brown threw the batter out at first base and then first baseman Eric Standafer’s throw cut down Trent Seamons at the plate to end the game.

        Ryan Rizzi (6-0) was the winning pitcher as he went the distance, allowing four earned runs on 12 hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Garcia and CJ Englestad each had two hits for St. Catharine.

       The Bat Pats got two more complete game performances on Saturday but were unable to get a win. In game one Javier Perez (2-4) went the distance but the Tigers scored one run in the ninth inning to win 2-1. Perez allowed just five hits while walking one and striking out nine. St. Catharine also had five hits, Marcus Brown having two of those.

      In the seven inning finale on Saturday, Tim Reed took a 2-1 lead into the final inning but a two-out home run by Michael Durham gave Campbellsville the 3-2 win. Reed (4-1) allowed six hits, walked none and struck out six. Five patriots had one hit apiece.

      “We competed and played hard but at the end of the day we just didn’t get as many two out hits as they did,” added Bramblett. “It is just tough when you lose two games on walk-offs. But through all our adversity and injuries our guys have kept their composure and still have a chance to win a championship.”

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