ST. CATHARINE, Ky. – Baseball was handcuffed with a four-hitter from St. Catharine starter John Werner in a 2-0 loss in the opening game of the final weekend series of the regular season. The Patriots (23-25, 13-12 MSC) scored in the first and third innings before pitching would control the remainder of the game for both sides. The Bears (31-22, 14-10 MSC) fall to third in the conference standings heading into their final doubleheader of the regular season on Saturday.
The Patriots wasted little time getting on the board as a one-out single, double and walk loaded the bases before a sacrifice fly made the score 1-0 after the first inning. St. Catharine then manufactured its second and final run of the game with a leadoff single, sacrifice bunt and one-out base hit made the score 2-0 after three.
Shawnee State threatened in the second when Nolan West (SO/Olivehurst, Calif.) doubled down the left field line with one out in the second. Brady Hightchew (SO/Newport, Ky.) also singled to start the third inning. However, West was stranded at second, while a double play erased the leadoff runner in the third. Shawnee State also put two runners aboard in the fifth with a leadoff walk from West and two-out single from Hightchew. However, a strike out would get the Patriots out of that inning.
Shawnee State also put two runners aboard in the eighth with one out. After a ground out started the inning, Hightchew reached on an error while pinch-hitter Jake Cain (SO/Cold Spring, Ky.) singled to put runners on first and second. However, another double play would end that threat.
After eight solid innings of four-hit ball in which he struck out nine batters, Werner turned the ball over the Patriots' bullpen and Jake McCoy. McCoy walked the first batter he faced, but retired the next three in succession for eighth save of the season. Werner improved to 5-4 win the win. Derek Moore (FR/Wheelersburg, Ohio) took just his second collegiate loss, falling to 9-2 on the year with a complete game effort as he went eight innings.
These same two teams will close out the regular season tomorrow in a doubleheader that is scheduled to get underway at noon.