SAINT LEO, Fla. – Saint Leo junior Jordan Pendleton pitched five innings of one-hit baseball then gave way to a Lions bullpen that allowed only one more hit the rest of the way, guiding Saint Leo to an 11-0 shutout over No. 24 Catawba College on Wednesday night at Thomas B. Southard Stadium.
The win was Saint Leo's second over a nationally-ranked opponent in as many nights, and improved the Lions' record to 10-6. Saint Leo defeated No. 12 Minnesota State on Tuesday night in a neutral-site game in Winter Haven, Fla.
Pendleton held Catawba (13-6) to three-up, three-down in the first, second, fourth, and fifth innings. The lone hit allowed came on a liner past the third baseman by Catawba's Jeremy Simpson with one out in the third inning.
Junior Alec Lamrouex came on in the sixth inning and retired Catawba in order, and senior Dan Twitty did likewise in the seventh. Junior Francis Ortiz allowed one walk before putting away Catawba in the eighth. Catawba managed to load the bases in the ninth, but redshirt junior Ethan Lichtenberg recorded a pair of strikeouts and induced a grounder to short to end the threat and preserve the shutout win.
The Lions made sure Pendleton got plenty of run support over his five-inning start.
Junior Lane Stancil hit a home run to right field to lead off the game, providing what turned out to be the game-winning run. Redshirt junior Dylan Harris singled up the middle on the next at bat, and later scored on senior Alex Mata's base hit through the left side to give Saint Leo a 2-0 lead.
The Lions plated four runs on three hits in the second inning, including two runs courtesy senior Mike Mann's double down the left field line.
After a single run in the fourth to extend the lead to 7-0, Saint Leo put up four more runs in the fifth – three of those on Mann's one-out home run to left field. The Lions got two runners aboard in the eighth inning, but were unable to add to their rout of Catawba.
Mann finished the night 3-for-3 with six runs batted in, while Stancil, Harris, Coffel, and Mata all charted two hits. Mata also recorded three RBI on the night. Saint Leo finished the night with 16 hits, third-most in a game this season.
Catawba burned through 10 pitchers during the contest, none lasting longer than starter Michael Elwell's 1 1/3 innings. Elwell was tagged with the loss, after allowing six runs, all earned, on five hits and three walks.
Saint Leo will have Thursday to rest before opening Sunshine State Conference play on Friday night at 6:00 p.m. against third-ranked University of Tampa. The three-game SSC series will conclude on Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader commencing at 3:00 p.m.
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