The baseball adage that good pitching and defense will give you a chance to win each game held true last weekend when the St. Catharine College Patriots traveled to Lebanon, Tenn. to take on the Bulldogs of Cumberland University. But unfortunately for Luther Bramblett’s Bat Pats, those chances never came to fruition as they were swept in the three game Mid-South Conference series.
“We had our chances,” said Bramblett whose team fell to 22-10 overall and 5-4 in the Mid-South Conference. “We pitched good enough, our defense was good enough and so was our starting pitching. We just didn’t execute with men on base.”
St. Catharine fell 3-0 in game one as they allowed the Bulldogs single runs in the first, sixth and seventh innings. Eddie Rivera (6-1) took his first loss of the season as he surrendered three runs (two earned) on seven hits in 6.1 innings. Cody Alvey pitched 1.2 scoreless innings in relief.
Six different players each had one hit each for St. Catharine who stranded nine runners on base, five of them in scoring position.
The Bat Pats absorbed a tough loss in Friday’s second game as the Bulldogs (23-11, 10-2) scored four times in the sixth inning to win 4-3 in the seven inning contest.
St. Catharine had just three hits in the game, all of them coming in the third inning when they scored all three runs. Trevor Schneider and Carlos Hernandez singled to begin the inning. Schneider scored on a squeeze play by C.J. Englestad and K.C. Mejia’s two-run homer made the score 3-0.
That is where the score remained through five innings as Patriot starter Dylan Shoffner held the Bulldogs’ offense in check as he allowed just one hit in five innings with four strikeouts. But Cumberland reached the St. Catharine bullpen for four runs in the sixth frame. Matt Wagner allowed three of those runs in one-third of an inning and Cory Klinger (3-1) took the loss in giving up the fourth run.
The Bat Pats knocked out eight hits in the series finale on Saturday but could mange just one run in losing 5-1. Hernandez and Mejia each had two hits and Mejia had the only RBI when his single scored Hernandez in the third inning to tie the score at 1-1.
Cumberland took the lead for good in the fourth inning off losing pitcher Bruce Tolliver ((3-3). They added a run in the sixth inning and two more in the eighth off reliever Andrew Nelson. Tolliver walked seven and struck out four while giving up five hits in five innings. Nelson.
The series sweep allowed Cumberland to take over first place in the Mid-South Conference. They are 1 ½ games ahead of second place Campbellsville (22-6, 7-2) and two games in front of third place Lindsey Wilson (21-13, 9-5).