Heading into the week the University of the Cumberlands (UC) baseball team knew they had a tough slate of games ahead of them. The Patriots traveled to Asbury College during the midweek and hosted Mid-South Conference (MSC) opponent Georgetown College over the weekend.
On Tuesday, April 3rd, Cumberlands and Asbury put on an offensive display as they combined for 28 runs on 24 hits in a thriller that saw both teams continue to fight back at each other. Heading into the fifth Asbury had the 5-3 lead when UC ran off 7 runs to take the 10-5 lead. The inning was highlighted by a 2 RBI single from Sam Pepper (Tabernacle, NJ).
In the bottom half Asbury was able to tie the game up at 10 all before the Patriots once again took the lead scoring 7 runs the next two innings while holding the Eagles to one to build a 17-11 lead. In the eighth UC was unable to get on the board as storms were approaching. Asbury used one final push to cut the lead to 17-15 in the bottom half and had two guys on with two outs when the lightning struck. The delay lasted over an hour and half before the game had to be called. Since the eighth had been finished the game had to reset to the last completed inning which preserved the Patriots 17-11 win.
Patriots’ starter Sandro Ferreira (Manhattan, NY) was able to go 4 innings allowing 5 runs on 5 hits. Getting the win for Cumberlands was Duncan Kaai-Ebert (Kapolei, HI; 3-1) who went 2 innings allowing 1 run on 4 hits. The loss went to Asbury’s Serrer.
On Friday, April 6th, Cumberlands welcomed MSC foe Georgetown College to Doyle Buhl Stadium with both teams jockeying for position in the conference.
Game one was a pitcher’s duel with the Patriots sending Matt Adams (Atlanta, GA) to the hill where he was lights out facing the Tigers batters. Matt went 7 innings allowing no runs on 3 hits with 7 strikeouts.
However, Tiger’s starter Tyler Arthur was just as impressive as he held the Patriots offense in check as well over those 7 innings. With a growing pitch count UC brought in Sam Pepper out of the pen for the eighth. The first batter hit a hard groundball that was knocked down by the Jameson Debord (Lancaster, KY) at first base that rolled to Brandon Napier (Hazard, KY) at second. His throw to Pepper who was covering first was a slight late that allowed the Tigers to get a runner on. The next batter was hit by a pitch and then a sacrifice put both runners in scoring position. Back to back singles from Ryan Serrato and Mike Steinke put Georgetown in the lead 2-0.
Cumberlands would make a push to tie the game but left a few runners on over the last two innings and Georgetown went away with the 2-0 win. The win went to Arthur who pitched a complete game shutout going 9 innings allowing no runs on 6 hits. The loss went to Pepper (2-2) who pitched the last 2 innings allowing 2 runs on 3 hits.
The series was picked back up on Saturday, April 7th, and the Patriots fell behind early 5-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. Jared Martin (Cynthiana, KY) led the inning with a single followed by a 2 run blast from Sam Pepper to cut the lead to 5-2.
That would be all the runs either would score though as the Tigers were able to take game two also. Getting the start for Cumberlands was Jason Rodriguez (Corpus Christi, TX; 4-3) who threw 6 innings allowing 5 runs (2 earned) on 6 hits with 7 strikeouts. In relief of him was Drew Morgan (Elizabethtown, KY) who went the final 3 innings allowing no runs on 1 hit with 6 strikeouts. The win was credited to Georgetown’s Ballinger.
In game three once again the Patriots fell behind early 3-0 after 3 innings looking to climb out of the hole. In the fourth Evan Bennett (Winchester, KY) singled to start the inning followed by a single from Jared Martin. A walk to Brandon Napier loaded the bases and a walk to Blake Debacher (Miami, FL) cut the lead to 3-1. In the fifth Daniel Lokesak (Florence, KY) doubled off the left field fence to start the inning. Two batters later Jared Martin hit a single to center that scored Lokesak to cut the lead to 3-2.
In the top of the sixth Georgetown answered back to take a 5-2 lead. In the bottom half John Doolittle (Sharpsburg, GA) was hit by a pitch and Justin Jackson (Jacksonville, FL) hit into a fielder’s choice to put two runners on when Evan Bennett came to the plate looking to make something happen. With a 1-0 count Bennett took the inside fastball and crushed it to deep left center for the 3 run homer to tie the game up 5 apiece.
In the top of the seventh the Tigers answered again with a solo homerun from EJ Murray and a 2 run homerun from Kyle Rosen to take the 8-5 lead. Cumberlands would not go away though as they made one last push to win. Brandon Napier led the inning with a walk; pinch hitter Andrew Fox (Seymour, TN) then hit a double to right center scoring Napier to cut the lead to 8-6. The next batter Blake Debacher hit a single that drove in Fox to cut the lead to 8-7 with no outs. John Doolittle then laid down a sac bunt that moved the runner into scoring position. However, the next two batters struck out giving Georgetown the 8-7 win.
On hill for Cumberlands was Clint Davis (Chico, CA) who went 5 innings allowing 4 runs on 7 strikeouts. The loss went to the Patriots Jordan Quinzon (Livermore, CA) who pitched 0.1 innings allowing 3 runs on 3 hits. The win went to the Tigers Jason McGinnis.
The Patriots 20-20 (6-9 MSC) are back in action on Tuesday, April 10th, when they travel to Berea, KY to take on Berea College in a doubleheader starting at 5:00 pm. Next weekend Cumberlands will be on the road as they travel to take on MSC foe Campbellsville University for a three game series. Game one on Friday, April 13th, is scheduled to start at 6:00 pm and games on Saturday, April 14th, are set to begin at 3:30 pm.
For more information on the University of the Cumberlands baseball team you can follow them on twitter at @uccoachshelton or visit the athletics website http://www.cumberlandspatriots.com.