LEBANON, Tenn. – Jesse Bowman recorded three hits and three RBIs, Mike Mandarino added two hits, two RBIs and his league-leading 14th home run, and Keith Kirby tossed six good innings in seventh-ranked Cumberland’s 12-1 victory in seven innings over Lyon College on Saturday in Batesville, Ark.
Cumberland (39-12, 17-4 TranSouth) swept the three-game series and with losses on Friday by Union University and Trevecca Nazarene, the Bulldogs stand alone in first place heading into the final three conference games of the season.
The Bulldogs scored all 12 runs in the first four innings on Saturday, including two runs on the first and third innings, four runs in the second and three runs in the fourth. Bowman tied his career-high with three hits to lead a 14-hit attack for CU, while Mandarino doubled and homered and Tommy Crews and Greg Appleton both added two hits in the victory. Bowman was named the Music City Star of the Game for his efforts.
Kirby (4-2) allowed a run in the first inning before shutting out the Scots (16-28, 4-16) for the next five frames. The righthander gave up just two hits, walked two and struck out six before Devin Stovall worked a perfect seventh inning, striking out one.
Drew Davis (0-1), the first of four Lyon hurlers, took the loss, allowing six runs on five hits in 1.1 innings.
T.J. Murphy was hit with one out in the first and Mandarino put the Bulldogs on the board with a two-run homer to centerfield.
The Lyons scored in the bottom of the inning, with Kyle Kallsnick singling with one out and Jim Gossett drawing a two-out walk before an RBI single from Aaron Thornton cut the Cumberland lead in half.
But the Bulldogs answered with four runs in the second, as Crews led off with a single and Fanshawe walked before Bowman singled, loading the bases. Appleton plated a run with a single and another scored on Murphy’s single to short center. The throw from centerfielder Evan Garris got away, allowing two more runs to score for a 5-1 CU lead.
In the third Crews led off with a single and Fanshawe doubled before a two-run single to left from Bowman.
Cumberland kept up the pace in the fourth, with Tommy Winegardner singling to leadoff and Mandarino following with a double. Cory Farris walked, loading the bases, and Crews hit a blooper into short right that was ruled an error, scoring one run. Fanshawe plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Bowman’s infield single pushed across the final run for the Bulldogs.
Cumberland plays at Tennessee Wesleyan on Tuesday at 1 p.m. and finishes the regular season next Thursday and Friday at home against Mid-Continent. Thursday’s doubleheader starts at 1 p.m. and Friday’s single game begins at 2 p.m.