MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Fueled by a clutch pinch-hit at-bat and more strong pitching, the Catholic University baseball team came out on top Wednesday afternoon over Lancaster Bible, 11-3.
The Cardinals (7-3) won its seventh-straight contest to complete an undefeated spring break trip in Myrtle Beach at the Ripken Experience. The team trailed during the first half of the nine-inning contest and overcame a 2-0 deficit to score eleven runs on 14 hits. Senior pitcher Mason Belcher led the way on the hill with six impressive innings of work to keep Catholic in the game.
The Chargers (2-3) got on the board early in the top of the first inning with an RBI double. They added a second run to make the score 2-0 in the third inning with a single after a sacrifice bunt moved the runner to second base.
The Catholic offense responded in the fifth inning after junior Connor Sullivan led off and reached on an error. Senior Bailey Lewis walked and then sophomore Michael Doody singled, loading the bases with one out. Junior Nolan Lundholm delivered with a big two-RBI single to level the score.
The deadlock was broken in the bottom of the seventh by a pinch-hit RBI single by junior Will Pyne. Doody and Lundholm reached base again with a single and walk, respectively, and then advanced to second and third on a wild pitch. Pyne came up to bat as the pinch-hitter and lined a single to center to put Catholic up 4-2.
The Cardinals were not done scoring in the seventh frame, however, as the team put up another big crooked number in the inning. After a walk, Tighe Watson hit his third single of the afternoon to drive in another run. Senior Ryan Tracy followed with a 2-RBI single of his own to extend the lead to 7-2.
In the eighth, Lundholm stayed hot and led off with a double, and then senior Sean Dempsey brought him home with a single. Sophomore Kendric Musser lined an RBI single to right field to drive in Dempsey. Then Tracy came back up to bat and picked up his third and fourth RBIs with a double to put the game away at 11-3.
Belcher impressed in his first start of his senior season, going six innings and giving up just two runs. The Charlotte, N.C. native threw 83 pitches to strike out five, give up six hits and walk just one batter. Junior reliever Jack Ropelewski came in for the ninth frame and got all three outs via the strikeout.