Eight home runs power sweep of No. 3 OCU
OKLAHOMA CITY – Cumberland University pounded five home runs, including two from Sam Kikla as the Bulldogs took the first game of a doubleheader at Oklahoma City University, 11-7, before using the long ball again to come from behind to complete the sweep scoring six runs in the seventh inning to win 6-3 at Jim Wade Stadium Sunday.
The Bulldogs (12-2) got solo homers in the final inning from Kris Miller and Troy Frazier before Max Kautz knocked in the go-ahead run with a three-run shot. Kautz’s dinger came as Cumberland was down to its last strike.
Trailing 3-0 with three outs to play, Miller led off the seventh with his second home run of the day and third in the four-game series against the Stars. OCU replaced starter Mike Richard, who gave up just three hits, and new pitcher Zac Coplon was quickly welcomed to the game with Frazier’s homer, which was also his second of the day.
With one out, pinch hitters Brian Karahalios and Danny Gallinot walked and singled, respectively, putting runners on the corners for T.J. Murphy. The second baseman put down a squeeze bunt, but Coplon fielded the ball and looked Ryan Critchelow, who was running for Karahalios, back to third.
Kautz got behind 1-2 in the count and sent Terrance Jackson’s next offering deep to right-center, putting the Bulldogs up 5-3. Sam Kikla, who walked after Kautz’s home run, scored on a Matt Greener double later in the inning.
Aaron Wilkerson struck out the first two batters of the seventh and got Steve Vitale to fly out to end the game. The junior right-hander struck out 12, scattering seven hits – four of which came in the first two innings – to earn his second win of the season.
The Stars picked up a run in the first when Brian Fisher reached on a fielding error, stole second, moved to third on another error and scored on a wild pitch. OCU added two more in the second inning on a Jackson double.
No. 19 Cumberland 11, No. 3 Oklahoma City 7 (Game 1)
In the first contest, Cumberland’s first five batters combined to go 10-for-19, scoring all 11 runs.
The Bulldogs got two on the board in the first inning on a two-out, two-run homer to left field by Miller. The second home run in as many days for the senior right fielder plated Kikla, who was hit in the left shoulder two batters earlier.
OCU responded in the bottom of the frame with a two-spot of its own. Brian Fisher led off with a double to the gap in right-center and came home when Dearth Parker followed with a single up the middle past a diving T.J. Murphy. Parker was forced out on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Steve Vitale. Two batters later, Vitale crossed the dish on Kirk Walker’s single.
Two more of the Cumberland home runs came before Oklahoma City recorded an out in the third. Greener hit his second long ball of the weekend and fourth of the season to lead off the inning and after Miller was drilled by Garrett Parker, Frazier sent a line-drive laser over the fence in left-center. Frazier’s dinger signaled the end of the day for Parker, who gave up four hits – three of which were home runs – in the no decision. The Bulldogs put two more runners on base, but were unable to extend the lead.
After OCU plated five in the bottom of the frame to take a 7-5 advantage, Cumberland made it a one-run game when Kikla scored on a sacrifice fly by Miller. Kikla drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a single by Greener.
The Bulldogs took the lead with three in the sixth, the first two coming on a two-run home run by Kikla, which plated Max Kautz after the leadoff hitter singled to right. Greener and Frazier both got on base with hits and the former eventually scored on a passed ball.
Cumberland added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the seventh when Kikla hit his second straight two-run bomb on the first pitch he saw.
Adam Sprague improved to 3-0 on the year, tossing a complete game, scattering 10 hits and striking out seven.
The Bulldogs will take a day off before continuing their seven-game, five-day road trip through the Sooner State Tuesday, taking on Southern Nazarene in Bethany, Okla. at 3 p.m. and Oklahoma Christian at 6:30 p.m. in Oklahoma City.