ST. CATHARINE, Ky. — Cumberland erased a four-run deficit with three runs in the sixth and single runs in the eighth and ninth, with Richie Seaton’s sacrifice fly putting the Bulldogs ahead, but St. Catharine plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth, the last one on an infield single by Nick Rosso, and the Patriots posted a 7-6 victory in the opening game of the Mid-South Conference series Friday.
The Bulldogs (16-10, 3-4 Mid-South) lost for the third time in four games in conference play and once again were unable to hold the lead in the late innings, losing for the fifth time this season when tied or in the lead after the sixth inning.
St. Catharine (10-12, 4-3) plated three runs in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead on RBI singles from Alfredo Bohorquez and Danny Jimenez and a sacrifice fly by Adrian Garcia, but Brady North’s three-run homer in the sixth helped the Bulldogs cut the deficit to one.
Justin Byrd doubled in the eighth and Sam Lind was intentionally walked before an RBI single to right from Ricky Coleman, tying the game at five. Josciel Veras led off the ninth with a double to right-center, went to third on a sacrifice bunt from Tyler Anderson and scored on Seaton’s sac fly.
But the Patriots would not go away and Eric Donnelly began the bottom of the ninth with a walk. Pinch-hitter Eric Standafer doubled down the right-field line and Bohorquez walked, loading the bases.
Francisco Gonzalez was hit, forcing in a run and tying the contest at six, before Rosso’s infield single ended the contest for St. Catharine.
Trenton Claunch (2-4) picked up the victory with three innings of relief, allowing two runs on four hits. SCC starter John Werner tossed six innings, giving up four runs on six hits with five strikeouts.
Cumberland starter Anthony Gomez lasted just 1.2 innings, leaving after taking a line drive on the calf. The left-hander allowed one run on two hits before giving way to Kevin T. Greene (1-3), who suffered the loss, giving up five runs on nine hits in 6.1 innings. The lefthander walked two and struck out four.
Byrd, Coleman and Seaton all collected two hits for the Bulldogs and Byrd scored twice. Coleman drove in a pair of runs and North had three RBIs as well.
Bohorquez, Jimenez and Ty Broady all posted two hits for the Patriots and Jimenez had two RBIs.
Cumberland scored first with a run in the first inning after Byrd reached on an infield single with one out and Coleman drove in the run with a two-out double to right-center for an early advantage.
St. Catharine tied the game in the second when Garcia singled to leadoff, went to second on a sac bunt by Jimenez and scored on a two-out bunt single from Broady.
The Patriots took the lead in the fourth after Rosso was hit to leadoff the inning and went to second on Garcia’s sac bunt. Jimenez’s single to left gave the home team a 2-1 edge.
In the fifth Drew Kissel led off with a double for St. Catharine and went to third on a throwing error by Coleman in leftfield. Bohorquez followed with an RBI single before Gonzalez was hit for the first time in the game. Rosso’s sacrifice put runners on second and third and Garcia plated a run with a sac fly. Jimenez followed with an RBI single to right for a 5-1 SCC advantage.
Lind started a two-out rally for the Bulldogs in the sixth with a single to leftcenter and Coleman walked before North’s three-run shot to right, his fourth home run of the season.
The two teams will conclude the series today with an 11 a.m. CDT doubleheader, ending a seven-game road trip for the Bulldogs this week.