ITHACA, N.Y. (ITHACA ATHLETICS) –

The Ithaca College baseball team is just one win away from reaching the 2022 NCAA Division III Baseball Championship as the Bombers shutout Catholic, 4-0, in the first game of the Ithaca Super Regional at Freeman Field on Saturday. Ithaca is now 34-12 on the year after the Bombers recorded their first shutout of the season.

Kyle Lambert was the story of the game on Saturday as the senior struck out 11 batters and allowed just four hits with one walk in 8.0 innings pitched. Lambert came out sharp in the first inning and retired the Cardinals in order on just 12 pitches.

The Bombers took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Nicholas Cutaia drove in Buzz Shirley with a two-out single through the right side of the infield. Shirley kept the inning alive by legging out a double to right field.

IC extended its lead to 2-0 in the third as Shirley once again kept IC at the plate with a two-out solo no-doubt home run to right field.

Catholic placed runners in scoring position in the third through seventh innings but was unable to produce anything to bring a run home. In four of those innings, Lambert struck out the final batter, including the last two in the top of the seventh. Those two strikeouts in the seventh gave Lambert the single season record for strikeouts.

Ithaca tacked on another run in the bottom of the seventh to make it a 3-0 game as Mike Nauta reached on an error, moved up to second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored on a throwing error by the Catholic catcher.

In the top of the eighth, Lambert set down the side with a pair of strikeouts to give him 11 on the day in his final inning of work.

Connor Pedersen tied Ithaca’s single season hits record with 75 on a double to the left-center gap with one out in the bottom of the eighth. Pedersen would move up to third on a wild pitch and then score on a double from Matt Fabian that went just inside the third base bag to extend Ithaca’s lead to 4-0.

Garrett Bell closed out the game with a strikeout and induced a game-ending 5-4-3 double play.

Shirley went 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI, while Cutaia, Pedersen, Fabian and Nauta each had one hit.

Game Two begins at 11 a.m. tomorrow morning. If Catholic wins that contest, a decisive Game Three will be played 45 minutes after.