Blue Raiders win opener of pivotal series over Bat Pats

             It is a series that Lindsey Wilson must sweep to secure the regular season championship in the Mid-South conference. Ditto for the St. Catharine College Patriots who had to win all three games for a chance at the title.

            Advantage – Lindsey Wilson as the Blue Raiders visited Edelen-Haydon Field on Friday and left with a 7-3 win in the series opener. The victory gave 13th ranked Lindsey Wilson a 15-4 conference slate (33-10 overall) which is good for a two game lead over second place Georgetown. The loss dropped the Patriots (30-19, 9-6) into a tie for third with Campbellsville. The two teams will resume the three-game series with a doubleheader starting at noon Saturday.

            The Blue Raiders grabbed a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning off Bat Pat starter Ryan Rizzi whose record fell to 6-1 on the season. But St. Catharine cut the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Andrew Garcia tripled and scored on a Luis Zeledon ground out.

            The momentum looked to favor the Bat Pats in the fifth when Blue Raiders’ ace Derek Cape had to leave the game after taking a line drive  off his pitching hand on a ball hit by Joey Xavier. They plated two runs in that inning after Daniel Pulliam came on in relief and gave up a sacrifice fly to Jeremy Turpin and a run scoring double by Juan Moriel.

            But Pulliam, 6-1, allowed no runs and one hit over the final four innings to get the win. The Blue Raiders added one more run in the seventh inning off Rizzi, two more in the eighth off Cory Klinger and a final run in the ninth off Matt Wagner.

            Six Bat Pats had one hit apiece for the game as Blue Raiders’ pitching fanned 11 batters. St. Catharine pitching recorded nine strikeouts.

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