After eight tough games on the road to open the season, the St. Catharine College baseball team finally got to enjoy the comforts of home with a three game series against Ohio University – Chillicothe. And not only did they find home comforting, the Bat Pats also found home plate often as they outscored the visiting Hilltoppers 71-5 in the three game set.
The series opened Thursday when St. Catharine came out swinging in winning the opener 22-3 and the second game 26-0. They completed the sweep Friday with a 23-2 win. After dropping six of the eight road games to start the 2013 campaign, three of those in the bottom of the seventh inning and two others by 1-0 scores, SC skipper Luther Bramblett was encouraged by the offensive output.
“It was good to be able to get a lot of players in who hadn’t yet played,” said Bramblett whose team now stands at 5-6. “We knew going in that we were probably more talented than they were but it was good to see our starters get some good at-bats and for our other guys to get a taste of what college ball is like.”
While the run production was most noticeable (71 runs on 54 hits), the Bat Pats pitching staff was also impressive over the two days. St. Catharine hurlers allowed just three earned runs, walked only eight, allowed 10 hits and struck out 29 in 19 innings.
“They (Hilltoppers) hadn’t played yet so we had an advantage there but at the end of the day of the day I liked what our pitchers were able to do. They threw strikes and were around the zone,” added Bramblett.
Eddie Rivera (Anaheim, CA) pitched five innings to pick up the win in Thursday’s opener. Rivera allowed two hits, one run that was unearned while walking two and fanning seven. Chase Dial (Shelbyville, TN) allowed two runs on one hit in two innings of relief.
In Thursday’s second game, called after five innings due to darkness, Andrew Nelson (Eureka, CA) went the distance to pick up the victory. Nelson allowed just one hit, walked one and struck out 10.
In the series finale Dylan Shoffner (Elizabethtown, KY) allowed two runs (one earned), walked two and struck out five in five innings to get the win. Bruce Tolliver (Whittier, CA) worked the final two scoreless frames, allowing one hit with four strikeouts and no walks.
At the dish there were multiple Bat Pats who were obviously glad to be home. K.C. Mejia (Vail, AZ), a junior college transfer, was 6-11 in the three games and scored five runs. Eric Standafer (Shelbyville, KY) (5-6), Trevor Schneider (Louisville, KY) (5-7), Nick Ernst (Goshen, KY) (5-7) and Joel Cooper (Windsor, ON) (5-7) also feasted on Hilltoppers’ pitching. Designated hitter Josh Whitmer (Taylorsville, KY) collected four hits in six at-bats.
Bat Pats will return to enjoy the friendly confines of Edelen-Haydon Field with a single game Tuesday against the NCAA D-II Thoroughbreds of Kentucky State University. That game begins at 2:30.