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Campbellsville University is ranked ninth in the nation in NAIA baseball – and there is a good reason for that. The Tigers bring a potent offense, solid defense and better-than-average pitching to the field. And that combination spelled trouble for St. Catharine in Thursday’s doubleheader as the visiting Tigers swept the twin bill by scores of 17-5 and 10-1.
“They are good,” exclaimed Patriots’ coach Luther Bramblett. “They are undoubtedly the best team in our conference and could be the best team we have played all year.”
With the sweep, the Tigers improved their overall record to 29-7 and their Mid-South Conference slate to 15-1. They have easily clinched the conference crown as they are six games ahead of second place Cumberlands. St. Catharine fell to fourth place in the conference at 7-7 while seeing their overall record go to 26-11.
The Tigers wasted no time in getting their offense untracked as they scored four runs on five hits in the first inning of game one against Travis Adams (7-2). They reached Adams for 10 runs on 11 hits before he gave way to reliever Adam Gillcrist in the fourth inning. Gillcrist pitched scoreless ball until he gave up seven runs in the seventh inning.
“The final score really doesn’t indicate how the game went because we knew we had three more games left with them over the weekend, so we didn’t want to use our entire bullpen,” added Bramblett.
The Patriots stranded 10 baserunners for the game as they had nine hits. Brian Jones had three hits including two doubles and Jared Yates had three singles.
The second game again saw the Tigers start quickly with two first-inning runs off losing pitcher Nick Holmes (4-2). They plated four more runs in the second frame and built a 10-0 lead after six innings. The Patriots’ lone run came on a sixth- inning homer by Justin Witt. That was one of only four hits the Patriots got off Tigers’ hurler Marc Wilson who improved to 6-0.
Two of those four hits came in the first inning when Patrick Jones and Brian Jones stroked two-out singles. Ryan Mangione then walked to load the bases, but Wilson got Shane Young to ground out to end the inning.
“Things could have been different had we scored some there to put a little pressure on them,” concluded Bramblett.
Because of Friday’s torrential rain, Saturday’s doubleheader against Georgetown was canceled. St. Catharine will be on the road today with a 6 p.m. game in Louisville against Spalding University. They will play their final four-game conference series Friday and Saturday at West Virginia Tech. Tuesday they are in Mayfield for a doubleheader against Mid-Continent.