HUNTINGDON, Pa. - A five-run fourth inning propelled the Catholic University baseball team to complete a series sweep over Juniata on Sunday afternoon with a 6-4 win. Senior pitcher David Gately picked up his third win on the mound after 6.1 innings and three Cardinal relievers finished the contest off to move the team's conference record to 6-6.
The Cardinals (14-10) found themselves down early for the third time of the series but again responded with a big inning to take back the lead. Juniata (8-15, 1-7 LC) scored on an error in the bottom of the first to go up 1-0. The clutch hitting with two outs continued as junior Connor Sullivan doubled in the third inning to get into scoring position. Senior Ryan Tracy got on with an infield single, and a throwing error allowed Sullivan to score and tie the game.
Catholic turned the game with an offensive outburst in the fourth inning. The first seven Cardinal batters reached base safely in the top of the inning and the visitors scored five runs on six hits and zero errors. After Nolan Lundholm led off with a walk, sophomores Connor Cozad and Michael Doody both singled to load the bases. Junior Cid Porter delivered the tiebreaking hit with an RBI single up the middle to give Catholic the lead.
Sophomore Tyler Shaffer walked to bring in another run after a pitching change, and then Sullivan hit another RBI single up the middle. Senior Bailey Lewis capped the inning off with a big two-out single that scored Tighe Watson and Shaffer to put Catholic up 6-1. The insurance runs proved crucial as the Eagles scored three to make the game 6-4, but Catholic held on for the sweep.
Gately scattered nine Juniata hits to keep Catholic in control of the game, allowing three earned runs in 6.1 innings. In 97 pitches, Gately also added a season-high six strikeouts on his way to a third victory. Ethan Risse came in to finish the seventh and pitched the eighth, and Lundholm and Collin Brown finished the game off in the ninth.
Catholic is in action tomorrow for a Monday evening contest on the road against local foe Gallaudet. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.