Bulldogs sweep Bethel
LEBANON, Tenn. – Aaron Wilkerson tossed a one-hit shutout and Troy Frazier hit a walkoff grand slam in the second game while Matt Greener’s three-run homer was the difference in the opener, as fourth-ranked Cumberland swept a doubleheader against No. 13 Bethel University, 3-2 and 13-0, Friday at Ernest L. Stockton Field.
Cumberland (28-6, 4-1 TranSouth) ran its home record to 19-2 this season and won the two contests in complete different manners, scratching across runs in the opener and then pounding out 11 hits in the second game.
Wilkerson (5-1) was dominant in the second contest, giving up a bloop single in the second, a walk in the third and hitting a batter in the fourth for Bethel’s only three baserunners in the five-inning contest. The righthander struck out four to earn his fifth straight victory.
Kris Miller went 3-for-3 with three runs scored and Greg Appleton and David Fanshawe both collected a pair of hits in the second contest, with both players homering, including Fanshawe’s first round-tripper since opening day. Frazier ended the contest with a grand slam to rightfield, his 12th home run of the season.
Bethel starter Turner Cripps (5-1) took the loss, allowing six runs in seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 2.1 innings. The Wildcats issued six free passes in the contest, five of which scored for the Bulldogs.
Greener hit a three-run homer and accounted for two of the Bulldogs four hits in the opener, but it was enough for CU for Shawn Schaefer to pick up his seventh victory of the year.
Greener hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, his 15th of the year, and singled in the sixth. Sam Kikla and Appleton accounted for the club’s other two hits, but CU took advantage of three walks and an error to score just enough runs.
Schaefer (7-0) scattered seven hits and allowed two runs with six strikeouts and no walks. He was not as sharp as he has been previously this season, but he battled his way out of jams in the first and seventh innings to keep his record perfect.
Bethel starter Colby Fitzpatrick (3-1) made just one mistake in the game but it was to one of the hottest hitters in the country. The righthander gave up three runs on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts.
The Wildcats (21-4-1, 2-3 TSAC) looked like they would take an early lead in the opener after one-out singles in the first from Craig Massey and Johnathan DeBerry, but Schaefer struck out Jake Ramsey and Courtney Hardaway grounded out to end the threat.
Bethel did score first after DeBerry beat out an infield single to leadoff the third. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Ramsey and to third on a groundout by Hardaway. Billy Keck put Bethel ahead with a line drove that just cleared the rightfield wall about 10 feet inside the foul pole for a 2-0 lead for the visitors.
But the Bulldogs answered in the bottom of the inning, starting with a four-pitch walk to Frazier. Miller then hit a screamer to third baseman Zach Tippitt, who knocked it down but made a low throw that got past first baseman Ramsey, allowing the runners to move to second and third.
Greener continued his torrid hitting, hitting a three-run homer to rightcenter that put the Bulldogs ahead, 3-2.
CU had a chance to add to the lead in the sixth after a walk to Miller and a Greener single to start the inning, but Brian Karahalios bounced into a 1-5-3 doubleplay, with Fitzpatrick making a nice backhand grab to start the twin-killing.
Bethel got a leadoff single in the seventh from Tippitt. Pinch-runner Bryson Horner moved to second after a bad pickoff throw from David Fanshawe sailed down the rightfield line.
But Schaefer got a big strikeout of Alex Jackson and then groundouts from Shea Thomas and Massey to end the game.
Cumberland started much quicker in the second game, scoring twice in the second inning after leadoff singles from Appleton and Fanshawe. Jesse Bowman sacrificed the runners to second and third and a sacrifice fly from T.J. Murphy scored Appleton. Max Kautz then laced a two-out single into rightcenter to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage.
CU added three more runs in the third, with Greener starting the inning with a bad-hop single up the middle. Miller then roped a double to deep leftcenter, plating Greener, and Appleton followed two batters later with his eighth home run of the year, a line drive just to the right of the batter’s eye for a 5-0 Bulldog lead.
Fanshawe then walked, chasing Cripps from the contest, and Murphy drew a two-out free pass from reliever John Patterson. Kautz reached on an error by Thomas and Sam Kikla drove home two runs with a single to center, giving the home team a seven-run advantage.
The Bulldogs added two more runs in the fourth, again via the long ball. Miller singled to leadoff and Fanshawe hit a two-run shot to rightfield for a 9-0 CU lead.
In the fifth Bethel reliever Rusty Edwards walked Kautz, Greener and Miller before Frazier connected with a 2-1 pitch for his home run and an end to the doubleheader.
The two teams are scheduled to play a single game Saturday starting at Noon, weather permitting. Stay tuned for updates to the game time on the baseball page at www.cumberland.edu/athletics.