"You can look at it in one of two ways,'' said Capital coach Robert Massey. "One, we're battled-tested or, two, we'll find a way to lose. One way or the other. You take those losses and split them in half and we're a .500 ballclub. We're getting there.
"To be honest, two years ago we graduated everybody and brought back this pack as sophomores. They played all year and we took our lumps [going 11-22] and this year, we've gotten better. We're in every game. We're not getting 10-runned - we've only been 10-runned twice. Our pitching has been strong all year, but right now our defense is not playing very good, and that's not a good thing going into sectional play.''
Six of the seven Irish runs were unearned, including all four in the fourth inning.
"That's not just a recipe for success,'' Massey said. "You're not going to win any baseball games.''
Austin Hupp and Jacob Williams each went 2 for 4 for Capital, Justin Palmer added an RBI double and Anthony Gavin smacked an RBI triple in the seventh as the Cougars tallied twice to shave their deficit to one run. Gavin also made a fine defensive play in the sixth, leaping to snag a liner to third.
Catholic hopes its midseason swoon, in which it was held to two or fewer runs five times, is well in the rearview mirror. The Irish are averaging 11.3 runs during their win streak.
"We all go through our growing pains during the season,'' Golden said, "and we're just hitting our stride at the right time. We're really coming together and playing together as a team. We're putting good swings on good pitches, playing solid defense and our pitching has been outstanding.
"This has definitely been one of the biggest schedules we've played. We didn't have a real good middle of the season, but we've overcome our adversity. When we come together and do all the little things right, which is what we pride ourselves on, that contributes to us winning 20 games this year.''
Before the game, a moment of silence was observed for former Kanawha Valley coach and educator Bill McCoy, who died on Monday.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.