St. Catharine used a combination of excellent pitching and some clutch hitting to sweep a doubleheader from the visiting Bluefield College Rams in Mid-South Conference action Friday. The Bat Pats took the opener 2-1 and the nightcap 4-0.
Eddie Rivera tossed a gem in the first game as he limited the Rams to just three hits in the nine inning contest. The junior right-hander walked two and struck out 10 in improving his record to 6-0.
St. Catharine (19-7, 4-1) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when C.J. Englestad singled and scored on a Tyler Mischel single. That lead stood until the sixth inning when the Rams (10-15, 3-8) reached Rivera for their only run.
The winning run came in the eighth inning. Pinch-hitter Joey Xavier opened the frame with a walk and Lamont Calloway, pinch running for Xavier, was sacrificed to second by Carlos Hernandez. After a walk to Englestad, K.C. Mejia grounded to second base but when the throw to complete the double play was off target and Calloway scored from second base to make the score 2-1.
Rivera set the side down in order in the top of the ninth inning, recording two of his 10 K’s. The tough loss went to Sean Williams who allowed the Patriots just five singles, two of them by Mischel.
St. Catharine wasted little time in taking the lead in game two by plating three runs in the first inning. Walks to Englestad and Adrian Garcia were sandwiched around a Mejia single to load the bases and all three scored on a two-out double by Josh Whitmer.
Those three runs were more than enough for starter Dylan Shoffner as the freshman southpaw held the Rams to just two hits in going the distance in the seven inning affair. The Rams only threat came in the final inning when an infield single and an error put runners on second and third with no outs. But Shoffner (4-1) retired the next three batters for the win.The Central Hardin High School product fanned 10 walked none in the route-going performance.
The Bat Pats managed six hits with Whitmer and Mejia picking up two each against losing pitcher Justin Lykins (1-3).
The two teams will meet at 1:00 Saturday for a nine-inning game to complete the three game series.