Greener, Miller each hit three homers in 21-7 triumph
LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland tied an NAIA record with six home runs in one inning and Matt Greener and Kris Miller each belted three of the team’s 11 home runs in the second-ranked Bulldogs 21-7 victory over Mid-Continent Friday at Cougar Field in Mayfield, Ky. The win was blowing out to centerfield more than 20 miles-per-hour for the entire day, making the longball quite prevalent in the final regular season game of the year for CU.
Cumberland (46-8, 17-2 TranSouth) upped its winning streak to 17 games heading into next week’s TranSouth Championships. The Bulldogs will play a yet-to-be-determined opponent at Noon Monday at Brooks Stadium in Paducah, Ky., in the first game of the conference tournament. CU tied a single-inning mark for home runs with six in the third inning, a record previously set by Bellevue University in 2004.
Greener added to his nation-leading home run total with three more round-trippers, pushing his season mark to 25, just three shy of the single-season record of 28 set in 2005 by Donnie Burkhalter. Greener was 4-for-5 with five RBIs in the contest, giving him 97 hits this season and pushing his batting average to an even .500.
Miller collected five hits in the victory, had five RBIs and scored four times. Troy Frazier added four hits, two RBIs, two doubles and a homer, while Greg Appleton and Brian Karahalios each recorded two hits in Cumberland’s 23-hit attack.
Robert Post (6-2) picked up the victory, allowing two runs on three hits in five innings of work. He did not walk a batter and struck out a season-high eight.
Kalip Merrill (2-7) took the loss for the Cougars (9-40, 3-18), giving up seven earned runs on 11 hits in two-plus innings.
The Bulldogs started quickly with three runs in the first inning. Sam Kikla reached on a throwing error by Tyler Johnson and Greener followed with a two-run homer to center. Frazier hit a solo shot to right with two outs, his 19th of the season.
In the second Dave Weyer beat out an infield single to leadoff and moved to second on a throwing error by Steven Riley. Greg Appleton’s single plated Weyer. Miller singled with two outs and Frazier’s single to right scored Appleton.
Cumberland opened up the game with an eight-run third inning, starting with a single from Karahalios before Max Kautz hit a two-run homer, his 10th of the year. Weyer then walked and Appleton belted his 15th home run of the season.
Kikla, Greener and Miller hit back-to-back-to-back homers and David Fanshawe added another solo shot later in the inning for a 13-0 advantage.
MCU plated two runs in the bottom of the inning, with Johnson striking out but reaching on a wild pitch. Brantley Barrett doubled with one out and Alex Harper’s two-out single down the rightfield line plated both runs.
In the CU fourth Kikla was hit with one out and Greener hit his second two-run homer. Miller followed with another solo shot for a 16-2 Bulldog lead.
In the sixth Greener and Miller both singled and Adrian Mull walked, loading the bases for Karahalios, who singled to leftcenter, plating two runs.
The Cougars scored a single run in the bottom of the inning against CU reliever Adam Sprague. William Brown struck out with two outs but reached on a wild pitch, and Adam Connor followed with a single. Cody Tellor singled to center, scoring Brown.
The Bulldogs added three more runs in the seventh, starting with an Eric Vetetoe double and a walk by T.J. Murphy. Miller then hit a three-run homer, his third of the game, for the final runs of the contest for CU.
MCU plated four runs in the bottom of the seventh, with pinch-hitter Josh Bowman singling with one out and Jacob McMican walked. With two outs Brown hit a three-run homer to center.
Connor and Robert Thomas both singled and Ken Wagner walked before the final run scored on an error.