COLUMBIA, Ky. – Ricky Coleman and Sam Lind plated runs with hits in the 10th inning and Kevin P. Greene tossed 4.2 innings of relief for the victory, as Cumberland outlasted third-ranked Georgetown College, 10-8, in the title game of the Mid-South Conference Championships here Wednesday at Egnew Park.
The contest featured 12 combined runs by the two teams after the fifth inning and Georgetown’s David Higuera was thrown out at the plate with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth, sending the contest to extra innings.
Coleman’s double down the left-field line plated pinch-runner Zach Cole and Lind followed with an RBI single to right, scoring Chris Hall. Bryan Haney and Hall both walked with one out to start the rally.
Earlier in the day, Georgetown forced the “if necessary” game by rallying for a 5-3 victory.
Greene (8-1) gutted out the championship-game victory, his second of the tournament, working around three unearned runs and giving up seven hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Freshman Andrew Woodfin was in line for the victory after tossing five innings in a start, giving up a three-run homer in the first but settling down to retire 12 of the final 14 batters he faced.
Shaun Meyer (8-1), the third of four Georgetown hurlers, suffered the loss, allowing two runs in three hits in 3.1 innings. Tigers starter Leonard De LaRosa gave up three runs on eight hits with three strikeouts.
Lind finished 4-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored, while Brady North, Hall and Richie Seaton each collected three hits. Hall also scored three times.
The Tigers jumped out early for the second straight game, this time scoring three times in the first inning.
Duran Elmore led off the inning with a single to center and with two outs, Martin Lemus was hit. Steven Mancilla hooked a hanging curveball just inside the foul pole down the right-field line, giving Georgetown a 3-0 lead after an inning.
Cumberland got a run back in the second and could have had more, loading the bases to start the inning with singles from Josciel Veras, Justin Byrd and Tyler Anderson. Seaton bounced into a 4-6-3 double play, plating a run, but Byrd was thrown out at the plate trying to score on the play as well and the Bulldogs trailed, 3-1.
Hall beat out an infield single with one out in the third and two batters later Lind belted his third home run of the tournament, a two-run shot to left-center, tying the contest at three.
The Bulldogs took the lead in the fifth after a leadoff double by North. Byrd walked with one out before an RBI single through the left side by Anderson, scoring pinch-runner Jarrett Plunkett. Seaton also drove in a run with a single to center, but Anderson was thrown out at the plate to end the inning after a shallow fly ball down the right-field line by Haney.
Georgetown came right back in the bottom of the inning, with Lemus drilling a line drive over the left-field wall to start the frame. Armando Lomeli doubled down the right-field line with one out and Rick Reyes followed with a single to left before a walk to Trey Gross loaded the bases, but Greene induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play off the bat of Ryan Rodriguez and CU kept the lead, 5-4.
The Bulldogs added two more runs in the seventh when Hall beat out his second infield single to leadoff and Coleman was hit. North ripped a double just inside the first base bag and into the right-field corner with one out, plating both runners for a 7-4 advantage.
The Tigers would not go away, though, with Elmore reaching on his own infield single to start the bottom of the inning. He stole second and moved to third on Justin Moore’s groundout to second. Greene struck out Tyler Coker and Lemus lined out to center, but Byrd dropped the ball while battling the sun, allowing the run to score.
Steven Mancilla walked and Lomeli singled on the left side, his fourth hit of the game, but Reyes flew out to center to end the inning without any further damage.
Georgetown took advantage of another CU error to tie the contest in the eighth after a leadoff infield single up the middle by Gross. Moore’s two-out chopper bounced over the glove of North and down the right-field line for a double, putting runners on second and third. Coker’s grounder looked to end the inning, but it bounced off the glove of Anderson, allowing one run to score, and Lemus followed with a dumper into short center off the end of the bat, plating the tying run for the Tigers.
Through all of that, the biggest excitement was still to come in the ninth inning.
Lind led off the ninth with a single to right-center and he reached second on a delayed steal with two outs, a big play in the game. Byrd grounded wide of the first for what appeared to be the final out, but Lemus’ toss to first sailed over the head of Meyers and into the Georgetown dugout, allowing Lind to score on the play.
Again Georgetown came back, taking advantage of walks by Greene.
Lomeli drew a free pass to start the bottom of the ninth, but Reyes’ grounder to first turned into the rare 3-6-1 double play. Gross was hit with two outs and also stole second on a delayed steal. Pinch-hitter David Higuera worked another walk, setting up Elmore, who laced a double into right-center.
Gross scored easily on the play, but Seaton made a good throw to Lind, whose throw to the plate was right on the money. Higuera never got to the plate, sliding to the outside and coming up short. Haney applied to tag for the final out of the ninth and hysteria ensued for the next 10 minutes, with Georgetown head coach Micah Baumfield protesting the blocking of the plate and the umpires leaving the field to check the rulebook before returning so the contest could head to extra innings.
Cumberland scored its two runs in the top of the 10th and Greene got two outs before Lemus singled, but Mancilla’s soft liner to second base ended the contest almost four hours later and nearly seven hours after the first game began on Wednesday.
Cumberland and Georgetown will both represent the Mid-South Conference in the NAIA Championship Opening Round next week, with brackets announced on the NAIA website at 7 p.m. Friday.
Georgetown rally forces second championship game
COLUMBIA, Ky. – Edwin Santiago tossed eight strong innings and third-ranked Georgetown College put together four straight singles, scoring three runs in the ninth inning to take a 5-3 victory over Cumberland in the first game here Wednesday at Egnew Park.
Georgetown (42-7) forced a second championship game with the win over the Bulldogs (39-18). Josciel Veras tied the game at one with a single in the first and his solo homer to left-center to lead off the sixth put Cumberland ahead, 3-2, until the three-run ninth for the Tigers. Santiago (4-3) allowed just three runs on six hits in eight innings for Georgetown. The right-hander walked two and struck out five, stranding six runners, four in scoring position.
Craig Ramsey got the final three outs for his eighth save, working around an error and a walk in the bottom of the ninth.
CU starter Anthony Gomez (5-3) took the loss, allowing five runs on 11 hits in 8.1 innings. The left-hander did not walk a batter and struck out six, running into trouble in the ninth inning.
The Tigers jumped out early with a run in the first on three hits, with Justin Moore starting the rally with a one-out double to right-center. Tyler Coker followed with a great bunt down the third base line, putting runners on the corners, and Martin Lemus fought off a high fast ball for a single to right, driving home the run, but Gomez got out of the inning without further damage with a groundout and a strikeout.
The Bulldogs answered in the bottom of the inning after Chris Hall drew a leadoff walk. Ricky Coleman hit a drive to deep left field but was robbed of a home run by Moore. Sam Lind followed with a soft single to right-center, putting runners on first and second and with two outs, Veras singled to left, scoring Hall and tying the game at one.
Both teams plated a run in the fifth inning, with CU answering again after the Tigers took the lead.
Rick Reyes led off with a single to right field and stole second. A sacrifice bunt by Trey Gross pushed the runner to third and Ryan Rodriguez’s single off the end of the bat past a drawn-in infield gave Georgetown a 2-1 edge.
Back came the Bulldogs again, with Hall hit by the pitch with one out before a double down the right-field line by Coleman. Lind’s groundout to second tied the contest at two.
Veras drilled a 2-0 pitch over the wall in left-center to leadoff the sixth, a lead that held up until the ninth inning.
In the ninth Armando Lomeli singled to left, just off the outstretched glove of shortstop Tyler Anderson, with one out, and that seemed to open the floodgates. Reyes singled up the middle and Gross followed with a single to left, tying the contest at three.
Rodriguez added another single, plating pinch-runner Shaun Meyer, and putting runners on first and third. Duran Elmore then executed the safety squeeze, bunting just inside the first base line, with Gross coming across for a 5-3 advantage.
Richie Seaton reached on an error and Hall drew a walk in the bottom of the ninth, but Coleman fouled out to end the game, forcing a second championship contest.
Anderson voted Gold Glove winner
COLUMBIA, Ky. – Cumberland’s Tyler Anderson was one of nine players selected as Gold Glove winners by the Mid-South Conference, as announced by the league office this week during the conference tournament.
The Cocoa, Fla., native has posted just two errors in 199 chances for a .990 fielding percentage this season at both shortstop and third base. The senior played the first half of the year at third base, where he started 57 contests as a junior, and switched to shortstop after an injury to Josciel Veras on March 15 at St. Catharine.
Cumberland is 21-7 since he moved to shortstop with a .976 team fielding percentage compared to 17-10 and .942 in the first 27 games of the year.