LEBANON, Tenn. – Aaron Wilkerson allowed just two hits and struck out 11 in a shutout and Will Locante gave up one run on four hits and struck out 12, as No. 1 Cumberland swept a doubleheader from Freed-Hardeman on Thursday, 4-0 and 2-1, to open TranSouth Conference baseball action in Henderson, Tenn.
The Bulldogs (11-3, 2-0 TranSouth) and Lions will attempt to complete the series Friday at 3 p.m., weather permitting.
Wilkerson (3-0) was dominant for the third straight start, allowing just two hits, walking two and striking out 11 in his first complete game of the season. The righthander retired 12 straight batters after the leadoff hitter in the first reached on an error.
He walked Joe Mike in the fifth and gave up the only two Lions hits of the contest in the same inning. FHU had just one player reach third base in the contest.
Locante (1-1) all but matched Wilkerson’s domination in the second game, giving up four hits, walking two and striking out 12 to pick up his first win of the year. The lefthander allowed a solo homer to Kyle Day in the third inning and only two other runners reached second base in the entire contest. For his efforts Locante was named the Music City Star of the Game.
David Fanshawe put the Bulldogs ahead in the opener with a solo homer in the second and drove in another run with a bases-loaded infield single in the third. Cory Farris and Mike Mandarino added RBI singles in the fifth for CU.
Greg Appleton, Tommy Winegardner and Fanshawe each collected two hits in CU’s 10-hit attack, while Winegardner scored twice.
Kyle Parrish (0-1) took the loss for the Lions (5-10, 0-2) in the opener, allowing four runs in nine hits in 5.2 innings. He struck out five and did not walk a batter.
In the second game T.J. Murphy doubled with two outs in the top of the seventh to score pinch-runner Ben Foster for the winning run in the 2-1 victory. Winegardner’s single through the leftside plated Antonio Butler with the first run of the game in the top of the third.
But Day tied the contest in the bottom of the inning and neither team really threatened the rest of the game.
Amos Bingham (0-2), the second of three FHU hurlers, took the loss, allowing a run on one hit with five strikeouts in 3.1 innings.
In the opening game the Bulldogs scored runs in the second and third to take an early lead, both thanks to Fanshawe.
The senior lined a solo homer to leftcenter for his first round-tripper of the season in the second inning.
In the third Winegardner doubled with one out and Farris and Mike Mandarino were both hit by the pitch with two outs, loading the bases. Fanshawe reached on an infield single to the leftside, plating Winegardner for a 2-0 advantage.
CU added two more runs in the fifth when Winegardner singled to leadoff and Appleton followed with a double. Farris and Mandarino each recorded RBI singles for a 4-0 edge. Wilkerson worked around a jam in the first inning after Andy Southard reached on an error by Winegardner to start the inning and then stole second. He moved to third when Wilkerson’s pickoff attempt was wild, but the righthander struck out the side to end the threat.
The Lions did not manage a hit against Wilkerson until a fifth-inning single from Kirkland Wheeler. Jesse Hykes followed with another single, but Day struck out to end the inning.
In the second game Richie Seaton walked for the Bulldogs to leadoff the second but Butler bounced into a fielder’s choice. Butler stole second, though, setting up Winegardner’s RBI single.
Locante retired the first seven batters of the game until Day’s solo shot to left tied the game at one. The Lions had a single and a walk later in the inning, but Robert Prieto struck out to end the frame.
The lefthander set down eight straight batters after a single in the fourth. Mike singled to leadoff the seventh for FHU, but Jake Francis popped up a bunt attempt. After a strikeout Day walked, but pinch-hitter Justin Mackey struck out looking to end the game.