Bulldogs win opener over FHU, 11-6
PADUCAH, Ky. – Matt Greener had four hits and three RBIs, Max Kautz and Greg Appleton both homered and Adam Sprague induced 13 groundball outs in six-plus innings in second-ranked Cumberland’s 11-6 victory over Freed-Hardeman Monday in the first game of the 2010 McDonald’s TranSouth Championships here at Brooks Stadium.
The Bulldogs (47-8) won their 18th straight game and advance to play Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. against the loser of the day’s third game between Bethel Univ. and Martin Methodist. Monday’s contest was delayed almost three hours because of rain in the Paducah area, and it sprinkled a little during the contest, but the Bulldogs scored two runs in the second, third and fourth innings and never looked back.
Sprague retired the side in order in four of the first five innings and allowed a run on three hits in the fourth. The Lions (32-23) scored two runs in the sixth and another in the seventh and had runners on first and third with one out before Keith Kirby came on to get out of the jam and help Sprague pick up his sixth win of the season.
Sprague (6-2) allowed three runs on seven hits in 6.1 innings, walking two and striking out five. Kirby gave up a solo homer to Noslen Labrada in the eighth but retired the other five batters he faced.
Kautz hit a two-run homer in the second inning that got the Bulldogs on the board and added a two-run single in the sixth. Appleton collected three hits in the contest with a solo homer to leadoff the sixth.
Greener singled in the first, third and fourth, walked in the sixth and doubled home two runs in the seventh, raising his batting average to .510 for the season with 86 RBIs, just six shy of the school season-season record.
FHU starter Derek Williford (2-2) took the loss, giving up six earned runs on 12 hits in six innings with four walks and seven strikeouts. The Lion defense did not help the lefthander, making four errors in the contest.
Cumberland scored twice in the third to take an early lead, as Troy Frazier drew a leadoff walk and two batters later Kautz belted his 11th homer of the season over the wall in leftfield.
In the third the Bulldogs plated two more runs even after a doubleplay earlier in the inning. Greener and Kris Miller both singled and Frazier walked, loading the bases. David Fanshawe then hit a grounder under the glove of third baseman Evan Mansell and down the leftfield line, plating two runs for a 4-0 CU advantage.
The Lions got on the board with three straight hits in the fourth. Brian Bullard and Labrada both singled with two outs before Leamond Arthur ripped a double down the leftfield line, scoring one run.
But Cumberland answered with two more runs in the bottom of the inning. Brian Karahalios singled to leadoff and Mansell made a low throw to first on Dave Weyer’s sacrifice bunt. Appleton followed with a single, loading the bases. Sam Kikla’s sacrifice fly to left plated one run and Greener’s single to rightcenter scored another for a 6-1 Bulldog lead.
CU netted three more runs in the sixth, with Appleton hitting a leadoff homer to leftcenter, his 16th of the year. Greener walked with one out and Frazier and Fanshawe both singled with two outs, loading the bases. Kautz then singled to center, scoring two runs for a 9-1 advantage.
FHU scored two runs in the seventh on three hits, starting with a one-out double to leftcenter from Derek Bush. Blake Taylor walked and pinch-hitter Garrett Ammons singled to right, loading the bases. Bush scored on a wild pitch and Robert Prieto’s single over the second base bag plated another, chasing Sprague from the contest.
Kirby came on to get a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning without any further damage and the Bulldogs still leading, 9-3.
CU scored two more runs in the bottom of the inning after Weyer reached on an error to start the inning. Kikla singled with one out and Greener followed with a two-run double into the rightfield corner.
Freed-Hardeman scored twice in the ninth, but ended the game with a very strange sequence of plays.
Pinch-hitter Zack Smith singled to leadoff and pinch-hitter Mark Kelley followed with walk. Robert Prieto grounded to the rightside and Adrian Mull’s throw to second hit Kelley in the back. Mansell was then hit, forcing in a run, and with one out Labrada collected his third hit of the game, a single to right.
Kelley scored on the single but Prieto was thrown out at the plate on a strike from Miller. Labrada rounded the bag too hard and was caught between first and second and was tagged out in a rundown to end the contest.