The SC Patriot Baseball (2-6) team must feel like extras in the Bill Murray movie Groundhog Day after another weekend of one run loses. The Pats lost to #22 Freed-Hardeman University 2-1 and 1-0 to start the weekend and finally got back in the win column by splitting a DH with Blue Mountain College on Saturday.
The weekend started with a walk off lose to FHU when the Pats allowed 2 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning with 2 outs to lose 2-1. Starter Eddie Rivera (Anaheim, CA) kept the Lions off the board for 4.1 innings of work. He scattered 4 hits and punched out 5. Trenton Claunch (Burgin, KY) induced a double play in the bottom of the fifth when right fielder CJ Engelstad (Rohnert Park, CA) threw out the tying run at home. Matt Wagner (Brooks, KY) worked a scoreless sixth inning with 2 K's to keep the Bat Pat lead. Cody Alvey (Upton, KY) got two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh then allowed a hit and a walk, bringing in Cory Klinger (Rushsylvania, OH). Klinger surrendered a two strike double to plate two runs for the walk off Lion win (the 3rd walk off win against the Patriots this year).
Carlos Hernandez (Fresno, CA) led the Pats with a 1-2 game and scored the only Patriot run. Engelstad and Adrian Garcia (Anaheim, CA) both had singles for the other two Patriot knocks.
In the nightcap, Ryan Rizzi (Lansing, IL) allowed a first inning run which held up for another 1-0 loss (the 5th 1-run loss for the Pats and second 1-0 loss on the season). Rizzi scattered 4 hits in 4.1 innings. Andrew Nelson (Eureka, CA) tosswed the final 1.2 innings of no hit ball. The Patriots had just 4 hits with Engelstad, Tyler Mischel (St. Louis, MO), Jeremy Turpin (Lawrenceburg, KY) and Joel Cooper (Windsor, ON) picking up the singles.
"We had our chances in both games," noted Patriot mentor Luther Bramblett. "We just haven't picked up the key hit to score runs in all of these close games. Our pitching staff has done a great job of giving us a chance to win games and our defense has been solid - we just need to find ways to plate runs."
The Patriots split a double header with Blue Mountain College in New Albany, MS on Saturday, losing the first game 4-2 and winning the capper 4-1. The SC starter Bruce Tolliver (Whittier, CA) had the first rough outing for the Pats staff this year. He went 3.1 innings, allowing 4 earned runs on 5 hits and 5 free bases. Wagner came in and got the Pats out of a bases loaded jam and tossed 2.2 innings of scoreless ball. The senior allowed no hits and tallied 7 K's.
The Patriot bats had opportunities throughout the game. They stranded 7 runners on base and many of those were in scoring position. Engelstad continued his hot weekend going 1-2 with a double, RBI and scored a run. Trevor Schneider (Louisville, KY) had a 2-3 game and Eric Standafer (Shelbyville, KY) added a base knock.
The Patriots got back on track in the nightcap, behind the solid outing of freshman pitcher Dylan Shoffner (Elizabethtown, KY). Shoffner went 5 innings of scoreless ball with 6 K's and no walks. He scattered 4 BMC hits. Klinger pitched a scoreless sixth inning with 2 K's. CJ Gant (Louisville, KY) ran into some trouble in the 7th, surrendering a run on 2 hits and a walk. Nelson came in with 2 on and struck out the side for his first save of the year.
At the plate, the Pats were led by Cooper, who went 2-3 with a RBI. Joey Xavier (Selma, CA) went 1-3 with a RBI and Engelstad went 1-2 with a stolen base and RBI.
The Patriots play at home this weekend against OSU-Chillicothe on Saturday and Sunday.