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After eight years as head baseball coach at St. Catharine College, Luther Bramblett knows what to expect when his Patriots take the field. Under Bramblett’s tutelage St. Catharine has won 74 percent of all games played.
But while he knows his team’s expectations, Bramblett is till heading into the unknown this week at the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national tournament. Although he has done his homework on the seven- team field, Bramblett admits that he still knows little about the competition in the tournament that started yesterday in Hampton, Va.
“It is tough to gauge the quality of the teams in it,” said Bramblett, whose team will take a 33-14 record into post-season play. “We’ve made phone calls and researched the teams, but still haven’t been able to find out very much.”
Bramblett does know that there are some good baseball teams among the top seeds including his team that is a second seed. Apprentice School, who will host the tournament at War Memorial Stadium, holds the top seed with a 26-13 record. Columbia Union, the defending USCAA champion, is a NCAA Division II school with a legitimate chance to repeat with a 22-18 record. Penn College, 34-7, won the Penn State Athletic Conference and claimed a third seed. The only team in the tournament that the Patriots played this season is University of Cincinnati-Clermont who won here 20-7 in March.
St. Catharine was scheduled to play Greater Allegheny in the tournament opener yesterday. Greater Allegheny, also a member of the Penn state Conference, will bring a record of 31-13 to the tournament. Five tournament games are scheduled for today with the finals slated for Thursday.
“We just have to go play ball,” added Bramblett. “We do have the same nagging injuries that we have had all year but we will just have to play through them.”
To follow live stats of the tournament games fans can go to http://livestats.prestosports.com/uscaa/ on the Internet for each game.