Updated Sun, Mar 30, 2014 10:09 pm
St. Catherine (16-14, 10-5 Mid-South Conference) completed a three-game sweep of Rio Grande (13-20, 3-12 MSC) on Sunday with two low scoring wins over the RedStorm.
In Sunday’s first contest, the St. Catherine Patriots emerged with a 3-1 victory thanks to the arm of reigning MSC Pitcher of the Week Andrew Nelson (2-3). Nelson had a perfect game going until the fourth inning and had a no-hitter until the sixth. The lefty struck out nine RedStorm batters and surrendered five hits in six innings of work.
“He commanded his fastball really well,” Rio Grande manager Brad Warnimont said of Nelson. “He was pretty dominant early.”
St. Catherine struck first in the second inning when second baseman Drew Kissel drove in the game’s first run off RedStorm starter Anthony Knittel. The Patriots extended their lead to 3-0 in the sixth by scoring two unearned runs. Rio Grande failed to get a hit until the sixth inning, when Chris Ford led off with a single. Luis Jimenez scored on a Kevin Arroyo single to break the shutout and make the score 3-1.
Both teams failed to add to their tallies in the remaining three innings and Rio Grande lost their fifth straight MSC game. Mike Deitsch (2-3) shouldered the loss for Rio despite allowing just one hit and two unearned runs in four and 2/3 innings. Jake McCoy picked up the save for the Patriots, his sixth of the season.
“We had a chance to score late and we didn’t get it done,” Warnimont said. “We aren’t getting timely hits right now.”
In the series finale, Rio Grande made a late push, but came up short, 3-2. Game two of the doubleheader was a carbon copy of the first game through five innings, when the Patriots led 3-1. The RedStorm struck for one run in the bottom of six when a failed safety squeeze play from Kirk Yates drove in Marcus Makuch, cutting the lead to one. Rio Grande was unable to even the score in the final frame of the seven inning game.
Steven Borkowski (4-2) threw a complete game for the Patriots and allowed five hits and just one earned run. David Steele (3-4) was handed the loss and allowed seven hits and three earned in six innings.
“We’re not doing the little things well. A lot of it is based off executions and failing to do the little things add up,” Warnimont said. “We’re missing hittable pitches and it’s discouraging. It comes down to execution.”
The sweep plants the RedStorm in last place of the MSC