MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. - Propelled by a strong start from pitcher David Gately and a seven-run fifth inning, the Catholic University baseball team won its first game of the spring break trip at the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach on Monday afternoon.
Nine different Cardinals hit safely in the contest to score 15 runs, the team's second-highest tally since 17-9 victory over McDaniel on March 2. Catholic had 12 hits and remained patient at the plate, picking up eight walks in the nine-inning contest.
The high-scoring affair only saw one run scored in the first four innings. Sophomore Michael Doody lined a single to left, junior Nolan Lundholm got on with a walk, and then sophomore Connor Cozad reached on an error to load the bases. Junior Jeff Guile got a run across with a sacrifice fly to put Catholic up 1-0
The Cardinals blew the game open in the top of the fifth with a seven-running, but what is even more impressive is that all the runs came with two outs. After the two quick outs, Catholic reached base with four hits, two hit batters, and two walks to bat the entire lineup through. Lundholm and sophomore Tighe Watson each delivered 2-RBI singles to continue the rally.
The run support was plenty for Gately, who pitched six innings en route to his first win of the season. The graduate student from Baltimore, Md. struck out five and gave up just four hits and one run against Penn. Senior Colin Cunningham pitched a scoreless seventh inning in relief, and then freshmen Jack Zaffiro and Austin Nappi each made their colleigate debuts on the mound to finish the win off.
Catholic extended its lead in further in the top of the seventh frame, scoring four runs three hits. Sophomore Kendric Musser lined a single to left to score Guile, and then freshman Jason Xiong recorded his first career RBIs with a two-run single to make the score 13-1. Adding two more in the eighth inning, the team came away with a 15-3 win.
The Cardinals defeated the Wildcats 9-4 a little over a year ago in the Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach on March 6, 2018. Catholic continues its Ripken Experience tomorrow with a doubleheader against Dean College. First pitch of the opener is slated for 12:45 p.m.