ATHENS, Tenn. — Tenth-ranked Cumberland scored single runs in the eighth and ninth innings to send the game to extra innings and then plated six runs in the 14th, as Kevin T. Greene tossed 7.1 shutout innings of relief in a 14-8 victory over No. 8 Tennessee Wesleyan on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs (22-13) won the contest despite allowing 10 stolen bases and committing six errors, but Greene’s splendid work out of the bullpen, a squeeze bunt from pinch-hitter Jarrett Plunkett and a two-out RBI single by Tyler Anderson helped CU send the contest to extra innings.
Cumberland finally exploded for six runs on six hits in the 14th inning, with Richie Seaton and Will Henderson each providing infield singles that plated runs. Tyler Alford’s groundout scored another run, Sam Lind provided a two-run single, one of his five hits in the contest, and Ricky Coleman’s free pass forced in another in the six-run frame.
Greene (3-3) was sensational in relief, retiring 21 of the 24 batters he faced. The lefthander walked one, struck out seven and allowed just one hit and one runner to reach second base.
Lind was 5-for-7 with three runs scored and four RBIs, pacing CU’s 19-hit attack, while Brady North, Anderson and Henderson each collected three hits and Chris Hall, Coleman, North and Henderson all scored twice.
Logan Dalton, a senior who prepped at Mt. Juliet High for CU-graduate Mark Purvis, led Tennessee Wesleyan (16-15-1) with three hits and two RBIs and four other players – Shell McCain, James Boddicker, Cody Heifnar and Wes Minton – each posted two hits. Minton also drove in two runs and Heifnar and Brad Carpenter both scored twice.
Tennessee Wesleyan did the bulk of its damage in the first three innings, scoring six times on seven hits and the aid of three Bulldog errors.
Wesleyan took a quick lead with three runs in the first inning, as McCain led off with a single through the left side, stole second and scored on Dalton’s single through the right side. Boddicker then singled through the left side as well and Matt Malloy reached on a bunt, loading the bases.
K.J. Hockaday walked, forcing in a run, and after a line drive double play, Hockaday stole second and McCain scored on a throwing error by catcher Tyler Alford.
The home team added another run in the second when Minton reached on an error and then stole second with two outs. Dalton’s single up the middle plated the run for a 4-0 TWC advantage.
The Bulldogs struck for five runs in the third to take a brief lead, starting when Henderson reached on an error. Hall and Coleman both walked, loading the bases, and Lind’s double down the right-field line plated a pair of runs.
North and Anderson followed with RBI singles as well and Seaton’s two-out RBI single through the left side gave Cumberland a 5-4 edge.
Wesleyan responded with two more runs in the bottom of the inning, as Heifnar reached on a two-out infield single and stole second. Carpenter walked and on the pitch, Heifnar stole third. The throw ended up in left field, allowing a run to score, and Henderson booted the ball in the outfield, giving Carpenter a chance to reach second. Minton followed with an RBI single to right for a 6-5 TWC lead.
Both teams plated a run in the fifth, as Lind walked and North singled to center before a sacrifice bunt from Anderson put runners on second and third for CU. The run scored on a balk, but groundouts from Justin Byrd and Seaton kept the contest tied at five.
Heifnar was hit with one out in the bottom of the inning and after a fielder’s choice, Carpenter stole second and then stole third. Minton’s RBI single to right gave the lead back to the home team, 7-6.
Cumberland had a chance to at least tie the score again in the seventh, with a Lind single and a walk to North as well as a passed ball putting runners on second and third with one out. But Anderson lined out and Byrd struck out, ending the threat.
Wesleyan plated an insurance run in the bottom of the inning, with singles from Heifnar and Carpenter and a sac bunt from Minton putting runners in scoring position. McCain’s sacrifice fly put TWC ahead, 8-6.
Henderson greeted TWC reliever Brandon Landrie with a triple in the eighth inning and Plunkett followed with the squeeze bunt, cutting the deficit to one.
In the ninth Coleman led off with a double to right-center but was still there with two outs before Anderson’s single to center tied the contest at eight.
McCain singled and stole second in the bottom of the inning and Dalton followed with a walk, but Boddicker lined out to center field to end the inning and send the game to extras.
The Bulldogs stranded two runners in the 10th inning, but neither team left another runner on base until Cumberland finally broke through in the 14th inning.
Lind led off the deciding inning with a single to right and North followed with a single to left before Anderson reached on a bunt, loading the bases. Byrd popped out but Seaton plated a run with an infield single to the right side and Henderson did the same with a single to the left side, giving CU a 10-8 edge.
Alford’s groundout scored another run and Hall was hit, loading the bases again, before Coleman’s walk pushed across another run. Lind added a two-run single to center for the final margin.
Landrie (1-1), the fourth of five TWC hurlers, suffered the loss, giving up seven runs on 10 hits in 6.1 innings of work.
Cumberland will travel to Lindsey Wilson this weekend for a three-game Mid-South Conference series beginning Friday at 6 p.m.