By BOB REDD
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Ryan Shockey pitched a complete game and the Bluefield College Rams struck for five runs in the bottom of the second inning Saturday afternoon to claim a 5-3 win over the St. Catharine Patriots and avoid a doubleheader and series sweep.
“When I was able to get strike one I was real comfortable, but when I fell behind in counts I started rushing a little bit, but I just calmed myself down and went right after the next batter,” Shockey said.
Both teams went down in order in the first before the wheels came off the Bluefield wagon in the top of the second. Adrian Garcia reached on an error and Ty Broady hit into a fielder’s choice and replaced him at first. Danny Jimenez singled to left to put runners on first and second and Dominique Guevara’s fielder’s choice left runners on the corner with two outs. Harold Diaz singled home Broady with the game’s first run and Drew Kissel followed with a two-out double to center that scored two more to make it 3-0.
The Rams wasted little time in answering the bell. Jakob Shrober singled up the middle off starter Steven Borkowski and Jacob Wright followed with a double to left. A wild pitch scored Shrober and moved Wright to third and Daniel Copeland walked. Tyler Timmer doubled to right, scoring Wright and putting runners on second and third. Kahlin Villines’ ground out scored Copeland and Sawyer McLamb’s infield hit brought home Timmer. Chris McCollister later singled home McLamb with the fifth run of the inning. That ended the day for Borkowski who gave way to Trenton Clench, who got the final out of the inning.
Shockey meanwhile kept the Patriots off-balance. He sat the visitors down 1-2-3 in the third and allowed a pair of singles in the fourth, but no runs. After allowing a leadoff walk in the fifth to Alfredo Bohorquez, Rams’ catcher Tyler Lundgrun gunned Bohorquez down as he attempted to steal second.
BC rightfielder Wright made a diving catch of a line drive off the bat of Garcia for the first out in the sixth and the side was retired in order in that frame as well as in the seventh.
“I felt good after the first inning,” Shockey said. “A couple of mental error in the second cost us a couple of runs, but our offense has been able to put up numbers all year. We got the lead and just cruised it out.”
Meanwhile, the St. Catharine pitchers were perfect against Bluefield. Other than the second inning when Bluefield sent nine batters to the plate, collected five hits and scored five times, the Patriot pitchers did not allow a baserunner. Claunch retired 10 straight batters between the second and fifth, while Jake McCoy pitched a perfect sixth.
Both teams picked up five hits in the contest, the key being errors where St. Catharine made two, compared to one for Bluefield.
Shockey’s line was seven innings, no earned runs, two strikeouts and a walk.
Borkowski took the loss as he worked only one-and-two third innings, gave up five runs, four earned, on five hits, struck out two and walked one.
BC head coach Mike White commented, “To be a competitive club in the Mid-South you can’t have a three-game losing streak. You can’t lose a series and credit him (Shockey) with going out there and being that guy who can stop it.
“The mark of a good club is being able to stop that skid, when things aren’t going quite your way and being able to get it done when all ain’t perfect. The quickest cure for that is No. 20 (Shockey).”
Game one of Saturday’s action at Bowen Field saw St. Catharine score the only two runs of the game in the top of the fifth on a two-out double by Francisco Gonzalez.
Kenneth Miranda pitched all nine innings for the Rams and suffered the loss despite scattering seven hits.
Copeland and Timmer each had a pair of hits for Bluefield in the loss.
Gonzalez had two hits for St. Catharine and Andrew Nelson picked up the complete game victory for the Patriots.
“They (St. Catharine) are one of the better clubs in the Mid-South. They hang their hat on their pitching staff,” White said. “That 5-run second inning was the first time all day we really put consecutive at-bats together and that’s the way this league goes.”
Bluefield hosts Hiwassee on Wednesday in a non-conference doubleheader consisting of two seven-inning games.
At Bowen Field
St. Catharine............000 020 000 — 2 7 0
Bluefield...................000 000 000 — 0 7 0
Nelson and Kissel; Miranda and Lundgren. W-Nelson, L-Miranda
St. Catharine...............030 000 0 — 3 7 2
Bluefield......................050 000 x — 5 7 1
Borkowski, Claunch (2), McCoy (6) and Kissel; Shockey and Lundgren. W-Shockey, L-Borkowski.