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The St. Catharine College Patriots are now 29-13 overall and have finished the Mid-South Conference season with a 9-9 mark. If Luther Bramblett’s club is to get to the coveted 30 victories, a milestone Bramblett has reached in six consecutive seasons after a 26-20 record in his first year at the helm, the Patriots will be relying on two factors.
First will be the opportunity to reschedule some games earlier rained out and, second, will be whether or not St. Catharine gets a bid to the national tournament of the United States Collegiate Athletic Conference.
“I will be upset if we don’t get to 30 wins,” said Bramblett, whose team was ranked second in the latest poll of the USCAA. “Considering that this is our first year as a NAIA team and that we have no seniors, winning 30 or more games will be a good year for us.”
The Patriots took three steps closer to that plateau last week with a 3-2 record. After downing Spalding University 9-8 Wednesday in Louisville, they traveled to West Virginia Tech where they split two weekend doubleheaders.
In Wednesday’s nine-inning game the Patriots scored twice in the top of the ninth and then held Spalding off in the bottom of the ninth for the one run win. Timmy Paxton got the win by pitching the final 2 2/3 innings.
Brian Jones had three of the Patriots’ 11 hits including a home run and four RBI’s. Josh Landers had two hits.
In Friday’s doubleheader at West Virginia Tech the Patriots dropped the first game 9-6. St. Catharine mustered just six hits from six different players. Chris Smith and Patrick Jones each batted in two runs.
In Friday’s second game Adam Blair had three hits while Patrick Jones and Brian Jones had two each in an 11-8 St. Catharine win. Brian Jones had a homer and four RBI’s and Ryan Mangione hit a solo shot. Paxton, 4-2, got the win in relief.
The Patriots won Saturday’s opener 4-3. Andy Dietz, 2-0, allowed six hits and fanned six in six innings. Paxton worked the final frame to get his first save of the season. Brian Jones had two of the Patriots’ five hits and Justin Witt had two RBI’s.
In the second game of Saturday’s twin bill the Golden Bears scored eight runs in the second in to hand Brad Krohman, 3-1, his first loss of the season. Landers, Shane Young and Brian Jones each knocked in two runs in the loss.
Not counting possible make-up games, the Patriots have one game left in the regular season as they will travel to Nashville next Tuesday to play Trevecca University in a single game.