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Losing streaks are something that St. Catharine College baseball coach Luther Bramblett is not accustomed to in his eight years with the Patriots. So when his team dropped four consecutive games over the weekend, Bramblett was searching for the last time such a skid had occurred.
“I don’t think we have lost four straight since the first year I was here,” said the Patriot coach. “But even in losing those four, we were in every game with a chance to win.”
Three of the four losses last week came in Mid-South Conference action at the University of the Cumberlands. After winning the opener of the four-game series 15-5 on Friday, the Patriots fell in Friday’s nightcap 17-7 and were swept Saturday 3-2 and 8-5. Those setbacks gave St. Catharine a 3-3 conference slate (they are 20-7 overall) which puts them 4 1/2 games behind first-place Campbellsville University, which is 9-0.
In Friday’s opener, Travis Adams allowed his first runs of the year when he gave up a three-run homer and a two-run shot in the first three innings to Cumberlands’ Devin Hicks. But Adams was rescued by the SCC offense that sent 15 men to the plate in a 12-run fourth inning en route to the 15-5 win.
Adams (6-0) settled down to get the victory as he pitched shutout baseball the reminder of the game that ended after six innings due to the run rule. In game two, Nick Holmes was touched for 10 runs in 3 2/3 innings in the 17-7 outcome.
The Patriots didn’t fare any better on Saturday when they fell twice to Cumberlands, who improved to 14-7 overall and 7-2 in the conference.
Bramblett’s bunch looked to get back on the winning track Sunday at home against the University of Cincinnati-Clermont, but allowed the visitors eight runs in the first four innings in falling 13-6. UC-Clermont improved to 9-2 with the victory.
The week’s action started well enough for St. Catharine as they swept visiting IU Southeast on Tuesday. They won the first game 10-0 behind the pitching of Tim Paxton (1-1) and reliever Andy Dietz. Brian Jones was 3-3 with two RBI’s. Justin Witt and Josh Lander had two hits each.
In game two the Patriots came from behind by scoring seven runs in the sixth inning to win 15-11. Patrick Jones had two hits and three RBI’s. Witt, Adam Blair and Brian Jones each had two hits. Philip Dean tripled and had three RBI’s and Shane Young homered. Dustin Lewis (1-0) got the victory as the Patriots sent eight pitchers to the mound in the slugfest.
St. Catharine returns to action this weekend with a four-game Mid-South Conference series at Georgetown starting Friday at 1 p.m. Sunday they host Miami Middletown at 1 p.m. and Tuesday they visit Cincinnati Christian University.
While the losses leave Bramblett in an uncommon situation, he is confident his team will get back on track. “The biggest problem right now is that our pitchers are not doing what they need to do. They are getting behind hitters too much and giving up too many walks. Our guys are not used to this, and they are frustrated. But we will get through it and hopefully right the ship this week.”