By BOB STRICKLEY
PDT Sports Editor
The Shawnee State baseball team finished their regular season Saturday but are gearing up for today’s opening round of the Mid-South Conference Tournament.
The Bears earned the No. 5 seed in the tournament and will face off against No. 4 seed St. Catharine at 2 p.m. today.
Shawnee State finished the regular season with a 31-23 record overall and an 11-10 record in the MSC. The Bears hope to bring the momentum gained by winning seven of their last 10 games to the second of today’s opening round games being played in Columbia, Ky.
Shawnee State’s offense is led by Cody Morrison who drove in 40 runs in the regular season with .508 slugging percentage and .310 batting average.
Juniors Adam Wamsley and Colin Keim tied for the team’s second spot in run production with 39 RBI a piece. Wamsley, a product of Wheelersburg, batted .317 in the regular season, while Keim batted .326.
From the mound, the Bears were led in the regular season by senior Austin Dunfee who compiled 92 1/3 innings pitched and a 9-5 record. Dunfee pitched 15 more innings than any other Bear on the roster and finished the regular season with an earned run average of 2.44.
The second leading pitcher as far as innings pitched was Alex Taku who tossed 77 1/3 innings with an 8-3 record. Taku’s 2.33 ERA was the best of the Shawnee State pitchers who tossed more than 20 innings in 2012.
The Patriots of St. Catherine are led by Andrew Garcia, who drove in 47 runs while batting .351 in the regular season. The senior had a regular-season slugging percentage of .519 and played in a team-leading 54 games.
Luis Zeledon, a senior outfielder, drove in 32 runs for the Patriots while batting .298, while teammate Juan Moriel drove in 29 runs and batted .313 in the regular season.
Ryan Rizzi, a 6-3 right-hander, led the Patriots pitching staff with 82 1/3 innings pitched in the regular season. The junior had a 2.40 earned run average and won six games for St. Catharine.
Senior left-hander Javier Perez was the second option for the Patriots with 69 2/3 innings pitched. He had a 2.97 ERA and won five games for St. Catharine.
The winner of the Shawnee State and St. Catharine’s match up will go on to play the winner of No. 1 Lindsey Wilson and No. 8 Rio Grande/No. 9 Pikeville.
The loser of the Bears and Patriots’ game will play the loser of the Lindsey Wilson/Play-In game.
Bob Strickley may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 203, or firstname.lastname@example.org.