Schaefer dominant again in 2-0 victory
LEBANON, Tenn. – Shawn Schaefer struck out 11 and scattered seven hits and 19th-ranked Cumberland scratched out a 2-0 victory over Union University in the TranSouth Conference opener for both teams Friday night at Fesmire Field in Jackson, Tenn.
Cumberland (24-5, 1-0 TranSouth) won its sixth straight overall and 11th in the last 12 games, while Schaefer (6-0) tossed his fifth straight complete game of the season. He walked two and posted his second double-digit strikeout performance of the year.
The Bulldogs registered 10 hits in the contest, including at least one in the first seven innings, but stranded nine runners overall in the pitcher’s dual.
Brian Karahalios went 3-for-4 for CU and Kris Miller accounted for the team’s only RBI, on a double in the seventh that plated Sam Kikla. Cumberland’s first run of the game came across in the second inning on an error by Union rightfielder Corey Rudolph.
Union’s Carl Harken (4-1) suffered the loss, giving up two runs on 10 hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
Schaefer retired nine straight batters at one point, starting with the final two outs of the seventh and including the first out of the ninth. But Union’s Alex Turner singled with one out and Josh Jones dumped a single into left with two outs. Both moved into scoring position on a passed ball, but Schaefer struck out Kevin Kirksey for the final out of the contest.
The Bulldogs used four hits in the second to take an early lead. Matt Greener and Karahalios both singled with one out before a single to shallow right from David Fanshawe. Greener scored on the play when Rudolph bobbled the ball. T.J. Murphy later singled with two outs, but Max Kautz struck out to end the inning.
Schaefer worked out of a major jam in the third after Danny Grimm led off with a single and Clint Barnes followed with a sacrifice bunt. Greener’s throw to first was bad, allowing Grimm to reach third on the play. But Barnes was picked off and the lefthander struck out Grant Luke and Rudolph to end the threat.
Cumberland had at least one hit in every inning through the first six innings but was unable to add to the lead until the seventh when Kikla was hit with one out, stole second and scored on Miller’s two-out double down the rightfield line.
The two teams play a doubleheader Saturday starting at Noon at Fesmire Field. The Bulldogs return home next Wednesday against Lambuth Univ. in a single game at 2 p.m.