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Bulldogs fourpeat as Region XI champs
May 15, 2007 12:00 am
GEORGETOWN, Ky. — After a false start, Cumberland got it right the second time Friday afternoon in bludgeoning Campbellsville 16-2 to take its fourth straight NAIA Region XI crown at Robert N. Wilson Field.
Campbellsville, coming out of the loser's bracket, forced the "if necessary" game with a 4-2 win earlier Friday afternoon.
But closer Adam Tomlinson, pressed into a starter's role, closed out Campbellsville while the Bulldog batters slowly but surely widened the gap on the Tigers until making it ridiculous with six runs in the ninth as Coach Woody Hunt went to his bench with pinch hitters.
Luis Martinez's 11th home run gave the Bulldogs a second-inning lead and Eric Mull's team-leading 19th, with a runner on, an inning later made it 3-0. And it got ugly from there as No. 11 Cumberland climbed to 46-18-1 for the season.
"They came through at the right time," Tomlinson said after hiking his record to 7-2 for the season. "I told the hitters I was going to keep us in it."
While Tomlinson was keeping the Bulldogs in the game, Cumberland's 22-hit parade against nine pitchers was taking the Tigers out as No. 25 Campbellsville concluded a 43-18 season.
"[The early lead] took a lot of pressure off," Tomlinson said. "You can attack hitters, go after them and a lot of times they get themselves out."
Tomlinson scattered eight hits and a walk while striking out seven.
Every Cumberland starter except Jeremy Wilson had at least two hits. Mull, James Lilley and Courtney Propst each drove in three runs and Martinez two. Lilley and Propst at the top of the lineup and Austin Morgan and Jason Bush near the bottom had three hits apiece. Mull, Martinez and No. 9 hitter Kyle West each added two hits. Morgan doubled twice and Propst once.
Jason Neufeld drove in both runs for Campbellsville.
The Bulldogs will return to the road for the Super Regional next week at the Region XII champion, with No. 7 Tennessee Wesleyan the favorite to advance to the best-of-three series which will send its winner to the NAIA World Series.
In the first game, Campbellsville pecked away at Karl Mejlholm with 10 hits and all four runs in 5 2/3 innings as the right-hander fell to 2-2. Temple Macdonald drove in two runs on three hits for the Tigers.
Wilson's two-run single brought the Bulldogs into a 2-2 tie in the bottom of the fourth before Campbellsville came up with single scores in the fifth and sixth. Wilson had half of Cumberland's six hits off Neufeld and a pair of relievers.
Aaron Tant tossed 3 1/3 innings of one-hit relief for Cumberland.