For the tenth consecutive season the St. Catharine College Bat Pats topped the 30 victory mark. Luther Bramblett, in his 11th year at the helm of the baseball program, guided his team to a 32-25 record – but that didn’t come easy.
“We batted .272 as a team which is the first time since I have been here that we have been under .300. It may be the first time in the last 16 years,” said Bramblett.
Many areas of the Bat Pats’ offense struggled this year as they notched an unusually low .377 on base percentage and a home run total of just 15.
But the 2012 squad remained competitive throughout the season due to some excellent pitching and solid defensive play. The St. Catharine hurlers had a very respectable 3.64 earned run average and allowed only 147 walks (2.5 a game). Defensively Bramblett’s bunch fielded at a .950 average.
Much of the team’s offensive woes could be attributed to the rash of injuries that occurred throughout the entire season. “Except for the first game of the season we never were completely healthy,” added Bramblett. “We never had our nine best guys out there for any game.”
Still there were records set during the recently completed campaign. Junior outfielder Jeremy Turpin set a single season record for walks by drawing 36 free passes. Turpin also moved into fourth place in career walks. Andrew Garcia, who was named first team All Mid-South Conference, is now fifth in career batting average as he closed out his career at St. Catharine hitting .323.
On the mound Ryan Rizzi, a junior, compiled 86.1 innings pitched which is the second most for a season by any Patriot. Senior southpaw Javier Perez tossed 76 innings which ties him for third in career innings pitched.
“No doubt that pitching was our strength this season,” Bramblett said. “But we lose two of our three weekend arms so we will need to recruit more on the junior college level to remain competitive. We also have to replace our two, three and four hitters.”
Bramblett concluded, “We had a lot of guys who had to step into roles they weren’t ready for and pitchers asked to do things we didn’t expect them to have to do. So overall, you have to be pleased to come out with 32 wins.”