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Cathcart, Patriots shutout Salem

The Heritage Patriots visited Salem for a Region 8B-AAAA baseball contest but visiting pitcher Luke Cathcart wasn't very gracious to his hosts.

Cathcart pitched a complete game, seven innings of shutout baseball to pick up the win, while Garret Needham took the loss for Salem (7-13, 5-6).

Coming in, the Patriots (13-7, 8-3) were in second place in the region, while the Salem Seminoles were in third place, a game under .500 in region play.

Heritage started with a lead off bunt single by Philip Kelley. The senior stole second base, reached third on a passed ball and scored on another passed ball, taking a 1-0 lead.

When Salem came to bat at the bottom of the inning, it became the Luke Cathcart show. The lefty kept the Salem Seminoles' batters at bay with a very effective fastball, keeping Salem scoreless at the bottom of the frame.

Heritage would break the game open in the top of the second. Jordan Martin, who recently signed with Georgia Southwestern, walked.

That was followed by another walk by Ryan Sutton and then Kelley was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Zach Whiten hit a shot down the third base line that the fielder failed to catch up to, scoring Martin and Sutton. Kelly would eventually score on a sacrifice fly by Domenic Bazzanti, extending the lead to 4-0. Salem had no answer for Cathcart, only managing a ground out and two strikeouts in the bottom half of the frame.

It was more of the same in the top of the third for Heritage with the aide of four Salem errors as Matt Reeves, Adam Howard, Ryan Gasque, and Martin all scored for the Patriots, building the lead to 8-0.

The lead was insurmountable as Salem still had no answer for Cathcart, only managing four base runners for the rest of the game. The bats for the Patriots also became cold as they coasted for the 8-0 victory.

These same two teams will play again Wednesday at Heritage.