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Dawgs dominated as Trojans take title
May 01, 2007 12:00 am
Cumberland dug itself a hole with first-inning misplays. Then, Trevecca pitcher Nick Shoup grabbed the shovel and buried the Bulldogs with his pitching as the No. 7 Trojans took the TranSouth Conference title 14-0 Friday at Woody Hunt Stadium.
Trevecca took advantage of two errors and four hits to take a 6-0 first-inning lead.
Cumberland's hitters could never retake the momentum as Shoup held the Bulldogs to a James Lilley infield single off the third-base bag in the sixth inning as the Trojans celebrated their conference championship for the second time in three years on the Ernest L. Stockton Field pitcher's mound.
"It was just lopsided," Cumberland coach Woody Hunt said after his No. 18 Bulldogs dropped to 35-17-1 for the season and 17-7 in the TranSouth going into today's 12:15 p.m. Senior Day double header with Trevecca at Hunt Stadium to end the regular season. "We let the game get away in the very first inning. We didn't execute on some bunt plays. They bunted the ball very well today and we're just not a great defensive team.
"It was no contest today."
With many of their fans wearing "Beat Cumberland" t-shirts, the Trojans started off with a single to right field by Wade Angel. Back-to-back errors gave Trevecca a 1-0 lead. Maurice Cole singled to left and Dylan Lynch reached on an infield hit to score a run. A walk to Eric House filled the bases for Adam Bland, who was plunked by a Robert Clayton pitch to force in another run.
Chad Hitchcock lined out to right field to make it 5-0 and Angel, batting for the second time in the inning, drove in the first of his three RBI on a single to center field.
Clayton, whose nine wins made him Cumberland's Friday pitcher, allowed an unearned run in the second on Gunner Thayer's sacrifice fly and was chased following Chad Hitchcock's solo home run in the third. The right-hander allowed eight runs [only one earned] on six hits in absorbing his second setback.
"His pitches weren't working for him and we misplayed two bunts early in the game and then we didn't have a coverage on first base on one bunt and that led to a big inning and they scored at will," Hunt said.
Bland and Hitchcock each drove in two runs while Cole went 5-for-5 with four runs scored.
Aaron Tant allowed five runs [all earned] on nine hits in three innings of relief after Clayton's departure. Myles Anderson allowed an earned run on two hits over the final 1 2.3 frames.
Meanwhile, Shoup walked three and fanned four in a seven-inning complete game to improve to 8-1 while Trevecca moved to 39-12-1, 21-4.
"His slider was working good," Hunt said. "I knew he was a good pitcher. He's their fourth guy. We've got No. 1 and 2 [today]. We'll see what happens."
With the regular-season championship out of reach, the Bulldogs will send Zach Whitmer and Karl Mejlholm to the mound today needing a win, or some Freed-Hardeman losses to Bethel, to secure second place and an automatic berth in the Region XI tournament at Georgetown, Ky., in a couple of weeks. Otherwise, Cumberland will need to make a run in the conference tourney next week in Jackson. Freed hosted Bethel in a late double header Friday and will face the Wildcats in a single game today.
"You got [today] to redeem yourself," Hunt said. "This is not the time of year to be celebrating. They won the conference outright and outplayed us and outplayed everybody in the conference. Nobody in our conference has challenged them yet. But this is not the time of year to be celebrating.
"We just got to do all we can to win a ballgame or two ballgames, whatever it takes to get in [the regional] now that the conference is out of reach for us. We're just going to have to buckle down and get these two games [today]."
Notes: Clint Alexander, normally a first baseman, served as designated hitter Friday after getting hit in the eye last weekend, preventing him from taking ground balls this week. Jose Diaz played first base. Seniors Whitmer, Mejlholm, Adam Tomlinson, Ryan Gregory, Bryant Baines, Bryan Bowen and Courtney Propst will be honored during noon pregame ceremonies with the first pitch coming around 12:15 p.m., Hunt said... Compared to the baseball team, it was a good day for the men's basketball team, which picked up two forfeit wins from the 2005-06 season because Knoxville College used an ineligible player, bringing the Bulldogs to seven victories that season.
Sports Editor Andy Reed can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 17 or by e-mail at email@example.com.