BLUEFIELD, Va. — Jake Collier took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in the first game and Kevin P. Greene settled down after a rough first inning in the second contest, helping Cumberland sweep a doubleheader on Saturday over Bluefield 12-1 and 4-2 at Bowen Field.
The Bulldogs (32-17, 14-9 Mid-South) moved into second place in the Mid-South Conference with the victories. CU has won 10 of the last 14 league outings since dropping series to Shawnee State and St. Catharine College in mid-March.
Collier (5-3) faced just one batter over the minimum in the first seven innings, getting a pair of ground ball double plays to erase a walk in the first and an error in the third. The right-hander allowed one run and two hits in eight innings with two walks and one strikeout, inducing 13 ground ball outs by the Rams.
He won his third straight start, giving up just two runs on 16 hits in 26.0 innings of work in victories over the University of the Cumberlands, Pikeville and Bluefield.
Ricky Coleman was 3-for-3 with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored in the 2-1 victory, while Justin Byrd singled twice and walked two times, scoring three runs. Sam Lind drove in four runs and Josciel Veras had three RBIs as well.
Bluefield (31-13, 12-11) starter Kenneth Miranda (3-4) allowed seven runs on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Reliever William Kane gave up five runs on three hits with eight walks in four frames as well.
In the second game Greene (6-1) gave up two runs and walked three in the first inning, but walked two and allowed just three hits in six shutout frames the rest of the way. Cumberland scored single runs in the third and sixth innings and took the lead for good with two runs in the fourth, one on a sacrifice fly from Brady North and the go-ahead run on an RBI single by Richie Seaton.
Byrd scored twice in the contest and Chris Hall added two hits.
Bluefield starter Ryan Shockey (8-3) suffered the loss, giving up three runs on six hits in four innings. He walked two and struck out two.
The Bulldogs started game one on Saturday in almost the same exact fashion as they did on Friday, with Hall opening the game with a single up the middle and Coleman following with a double to right. Sam Lind then homered to right-center, his 10th of the season, giving CU a 3-0 edge after a half inning.
CU added a run in the third when Hall and Coleman both singled to start the frame, putting runners on the corners. Lind bounced into a double play, but the run came across for a 4-0 lead.
In the fourth Byrd led off with a single and Veras doubled to leftcenter before a sacrifice fly to left by Seaton. Bryan Haney followed with an RBI single to right and after a sac bunt from Hall and a walk to Coleman, Lind’s single through the right side plated pinch-runner Zach Cole for a 7-0 advantage.
Seaton and Hall both walked in the sixth and Coleman’s double to left-center scored another run for the Bulldogs.
Hall and Coleman both reached via the walk to start the eighth inning for Cumberland and North also drew a free pass with one out, loading the bases. Byrd’s two-out walk forced in a run and Veras followed with a bases-clearing double down the left-field line for a 12-0 lead.
Bluefield finally broke through against Collier in the eighth after a leadoff walk to Jacob Wright. Daniel Copeland singled through the left side with one out, breaking up the no-hitter, and Chris McCollister’s single on the left side of the infield plated a run, but Kahlin Villines bounced into a fielder’s choice and Zac Russell-Meyer lined out to end the game.
The Rams struck first in the second game, with Lindgren hitting a solo homer with one out in the bottom of the first inning. Greene struggled with his control later in the inning, giving up a two-out single to Jacob Schober before three straight walks, the last one to Copeland, forcing in a run for a 2-0 Bluefield edge.
The Bulldogs cut the deficit in half in the third after a one-out double from Haney. Pinch-runner Cole moved to third on a groundout by Hall and scored on Coleman’s single up the middle.
In the fourth Veras led off with a double and went to third on an obstruction call when he rounded the bag. He scored on North’s sac fly, tying the game at two.
Byrd then walked and Tyler Anderson doubled to right-center before Seaton’s RBI single through the left side gave Cumberland its first lead of the game, 3-2.
Byrd started the rally again in the sixth with a leadoff single and went to second on a sac bunt by Anderson. Seaton’s ground ball pushed the runner to third and after Haney was hit, Hall’s infield single plated a much-needed insurance run.
Greene was in-and-out of trouble the rest of the contest after the first inning, with at least one Bluefield runner reaching base in every inning but the sixth. Lundgren singled and Schober reached on a ground ball in the fifth, but they were left when Jacob Wright flied out and Sawyer McLamb grounded out.
In the seventh Tyler Timmer singled with two outs and Schober walked, but Wright struck out swinging to end the contest.
Cumberland will play its final four regular-season games at home, taking on the Rio Grande in a three-game series this coming weekend and facing Bryan in a single game on April 30, all at Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.