Tyler Anderson drove in a career-high six runs and Ricky Coleman collected a career-best five hits, as Cumberland scored eight runs in the first four innings in an 11-7 victory over the University of the Cumberlands on Friday at Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.
The Bulldogs (25-14, 8-7 Mid-South) won the first game of a conference series for the third straight week, pounding out 16 hits in the win. Coleman scored four runs in addition to his five hits while Anderson was 3-for-4 with six RBIs, including two-run singles in the first and seventh innings.
Cumberland plated two runs in the first and three apiece in the third and fourth innings. CU took a 9-1 advantage before Jake Goodman’s grand slam for the Patriots (21-14, 5-10) in the seventh cut the lead in half. Anderson’s two-run single extended the advantage for the Bulldogs.
The contest included 14 walks, four hit batters and nearly 400 combined pitches. Chris Hall, Sam Lind, Justin Byrd and Richie Seaton all collected two hits for the Bulldogs and Hall, Lind and Brady North each walked twice.
CU starter Anthony Gomez (3-2) scattered seven hits, walked four and struck out four in six innings of work to pick up the win. The left-hander struggled with control at times but worked out of jams in the third, fourth and fifth innings, stranding 10 Patriots runners during his six innings on the mound.
UC starter Kevin Schubert (5-3) lasted just 2.2 innings, giving up five runs on seven hits with two walks. Mathias Brewers worked four-plus innings of relief, allowing three runs on seven hits.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the bottom of the first on a walk to Hall, a single to right by Coleman and another free pass, this one to Lind, but North bounced into a 3-2-3 double play. Anderson picked up the club, though, with a full count, two-run single to left field for a 2-0 lead after one full inning.
The Patriots loaded the bases in the top of the third inning on a soft single to right-center from Matt Madrigal and a one-out walk to Trent Abner, Gomez’s first free pass in four weeks. With two outs Claudio Valencia’s single just to the right of the mound loaded the bases, but Keith Tidwell lined out to right-center to end the threat.
Coleman laced the first pitch in the bottom of the inning over the wall in left-center, right into the teeth of the 20-plus mile-per-hour wind, for his first round-tripper of the year.
Lind followed with a double to right-center and Anderson’s one-out double down the leftfield line made it a 4-0 Bulldog advantage. Justin Byrd singled to right-center, scoring Anderson, and after a flyout by Will Henderson, Schubert’s day ended.
UC took advantage of some more wildness from Gomez to score a run in the fourth inning, with Jared Martin drawing a leadoff walk before the left-hander recorded two outs, one on a fielder’s choice. He then walked Madrigal and Luis Hernandez reached on a single off the hands that traveled about 75 feet, just to the right of the mound again.
Trent Abner also drew a free pass, forcing in a run, but Lucas Bagnara flied out to right-center, ending the inning without any more damage.
Bryan Haney was hit to lead off the bottom of the inning for CU and reliever Tyler Kilgore air-mailed a pickoff throw, allowing pinch-runner Zach Cole to move to second. He went to third on a groundout by Hall and scored on a wild pitch.
Coleman collected his third hit with a sharp single to left, Lind was hit and North walked, loading the bases for the Bulldogs, before a sacrifice fly to left from Anderson, his fourth RBI of the day. Byrd then ripped a 1-2 pitch into center field, scoring Lind for an 8-1 CU advantage.
Seaton led off the fifth inning with a double to left-center and Hall’s single up the middle, right between the legs of Brewers, plated the run for a 9-1 lead. The Bulldogs loaded the bases later in the frame with a double by Coleman and a walk to North, but Anderson grounded out to end the inning.
The Patriots cut the deficit in half in the seventh with one swing of the bat after walks to Keith Tidwell and Zach McRoberts and Martin was hit. Goodman belted a 2-2 pitch from CU reliever Andrew Woodfin over the wall down the right-field line, his first homer of the season, making it a 9-5 Cumberland lead.
The Bulldogs came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning, starting with a leadoff single from Hall. Coleman reached when second baseman Ryan Johnson’s throw to second pulled Valencia off the bag, and Lind followed with his second hit of the day, a single to right, loading the bases.
Anderson’s one-out single to center plated two runs, pushing the lead to 11-5 for Cumberland.
Bagnara reached to start the eighth when Lind dropped a pop-up in the infield but was forced out on a ground ball by Valencia. He stole second and scored on Martin’s two-out single down the right-field line.
In the ninth Jake Goodman walked to leadoff and Stone Osborne followed with a single to center. With one out Abner singled through the hole on the right side, scoring the final run of the game.
The teams willconclude the series tday with a noon doubleheader. The Bulldogs will play at Freed-Hardeman on Monday before returning home Tuesday to face fifth-ranked Georgia Gwinnett.