Bat Pats get seventh seed for MSC tourney

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By SCC Sports Information

With the 1-2 weekend at Shawnee State last week, the St. Catharine College Patriots fell to seventh place in the Mid-South Conference as they prepare for the conference tournament that starts Thursday in Kingsport, Tenn. The tournament opener will have them playing second-place Georgetown (33-15, 18-6). The two teams did not meet in the regular season. Cumberland University (Tenn.) is the top-seeded team in the tournament.

Luther Bramblett’s Bat Pats would have finished as high as fourth place in the final standings with just one more regular season win. But Bramblett doesn’t see the seeding as important this year as it has been in the past.

“The tournament is wide open,” said the SCC skipper. “It will come down to who is hot at the time and which team makes the fewest mistakes. This year the conference is more balanced than at any time since we have been in it.”

Bramblett, whose team will take a 36-18 record to Kingsport, points out that six of the eight teams in the tournament have over 30 wins. And Campbellsville and Shawnee state are close to that plateau with 27 and 29 wins, respectively.

As for his opening opponent Bramblett said, “Georgetown is very similar to us overall. They have some good arms and some guys who can swing the bat.”

The final numbers from the three game weekend series at Shawnee State left Bramblett shaking his head, especially the stat that showed his Bat Pats leaving 37 runners on base in the series in which they won one of the three contests.

“We get 31 hits in three games and score just eight runs,” bemoaned the St. Catharine skipper. “We had our chance in every game. Even the game that we won we left 14 on base.

The Bat Pats dropped the opener 10-3 Friday and lost Saturday’s first game 2-1. They salvaged one win in game two Saturday by a 4-2 score.

Bruce Tolliver started game one on the mound but lasted just 3.2 innings as he allowed eight runs (four earned) while giving up seven hits. Trenton Claunch pitched the final 4.1 innings and gave up two runs (one earned) on six hits.

Adrian Garcia had four of the Patriots’ 14 hits. Carlos Hernandez had three hits and knocked in three runs and Tyler Mischel and Joey Andrada had two hits apiece.

In Saturday’s opener the Bears (29-25, 9-15) pushed across the winning run in the bottom of the eighth off relievers Cory Klinger in the 2-1 win. Starting pitcher Dylan Shoffner gave up just one run on six hits, with three strikeouts and three walks, in six innings before giving way to Klinger.

Joey Xavier had three of the Bat Pats’ nine hits while Hernandez and C.J. Englestad had two hits each.

In Saturday’s second game the Patriots scored one run in the first inning and never trailed in the 4-2 victory. Southpaw Andrew Nelson went all seven innings and gave up two runs on eight hits. The junior from Eureka, Calif. walked one and fanned four.

Hernandez, Mischel and KC Mejia had two hits apiece as the Bat Pats had eight hits for the game.

In action earlier last week the Patriots swept the host Brescia University Bearcats Tuesday, 13-3 and 9-0.

In the opener, the Bat Pats banged out 17 hits in route to a 13-3 win. KC Mejia went 3-5 with four runs scored and two RBI’s. Tyler Mischel went 3-4 with a double, homerun and two RBI. CJ Englestad added a three hit game, scoring two runs and knocked in one. Josh Whitmer had a 2-3 game with a double and scored twice and Adrian Garcia went 2-4 with a double and triple.

Trenton Claunch picked up the win, tossing six innings. He allowed three runs on 11 hits and induced two double plays. Cody Alvey tossed the seventh and allowed no runs and one hit.

In the nightcap, the Patriots used a four run second inning to put the game away, winning 9-0. KC Mejia had the big hit in the inning, a bases loaded double. Mejia doubled twice, scored a run, swiped a base and drove in three. Joey Xavier went 2-3 with a double, two runs and a RBI. Garcia tripled again and scored a run and Brandon Roberts reached base three times and went 1-2.

Andrew Nelson picked up the win, tossing four shutout innings. He allowed two hits and punched out three. Cory Klinger tossed two innings of shutout action, allowing no hits and tallying three strikeouts. Matt Wagner tossed a scoreless seventh with one strikeout.

The Bat Pats completed regular season play Monday with a game at NCAA D-I opponent Morehead State.