Bat Pats season ends in conference tournament

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By The Staff

SCC Sports Information

The 12 seniors on the St. Catharine College baseball team won 143 games in their four-year stint as Patriots. And it looked very much like the dynamic dozen would notch victory number 144 on their bats last Thursday in the Mid-South Conference tournament played at Campbellsville University.

But Luther Bramblett’s bunch saw a ninth inning, 6-4 lead disappear with one swing when Georgetown College outfielder Tyler Fisher lofted a high fly ball that cleared the left-center field fence for a three-run home run. The blast came on an 0-2, two-out pitch delivered by closer Brad Krohman, who had surrendered two bloop singles earlier in the inning.

The Patriots did put the potential tying run on base in the bottom of the ninth when Chris Smith drew a walk, but on a controversial out call at first base, the season ended when Justin Witt grounded into a double play.

No doubt a tough loss for the Patriots and Bramblett, but the Patriot skipper looked on the favorable side of the record the departing seniors left behind.

“Overall, you have to look at it as a good season,” said Bramblett, who now owns a 331- 124 record in his nine seasons at St. Catharine. “We won 36 games this year (36-22) with a bunch of guys who bleed purple and gold.”

It looked like those guys would go on to play another day when they took a 6-0 lead over Georgetown after four innings. Witt’s two-run double highlighted a four-run third inning, and the Patriots made it 6-0 in the fourth on an unearned run and a Josh Landers sacrifice fly.

The Tigers (27-31) cut the margin to 6-2 in the sixth inning off Patriot starter Nick Holmes. In the eighth inning, they added two more runs to make the score 6-4. Holmes allowed a single and a walk to start the inning, bringing on reliever Timmy Paxton who gave up two run scoring singles.

“You have to give a lot of credit to these seniors,” added Bramblett. “There were a lot of them playing with injuries that shouldn’t have been playing, but they toughed it out. They competed well all season.”

The first loss of the tournament came earlier Thursday when Campbellsville hung a 14-4 loss on the Patriots in eight innings. “Even in that one, it is anyone’s ballgame when we are down 5-3 in the sixth inning,” Bramblett said. “But like I said before that game, we had to take advantage of our scoring opportunities when we had them, and we didn’t do that when we left 11 runners on base.”

The University of Rio Grande, like the Patriots playing in their first MSC tournament, won the title by beating Campbellsville when conference player of the year Tyler Schunk hit a walk-off grand slam to give the RedStorm an 8-5 win.

All-Conference awards went to Patriots Brad Krohman, Philip Dean, Travis Adams and Ryan Mangione. Adam Blair received honorable mention All-Conference.

Adam Blair, Morgan Jones, Tony Krohman, Jeremy Pierson, Chris Smith and Neal Straton were named to the All-Conference Academic team.