LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland scored six runs in the sixth inning, with Chris Hall’s three-run homer concluding the rally, and the 14th-ranked Bulldogs held on to defeat No. 1 Lee University, 8-7, Tuesday night at Olympic Field in Cleveland, Tenn.
The Bulldogs (26-13-1) trailed 5-2 before collecting six hits and six runs in the sixth inning, including a two-run double from Tyler Anderson, an RBI single by Hunter Bartlett and Hall’s line drive three-run shot to right that capped the inning.
Nick Conley (3-1) tossed 4.2 innings of relief to pick up the victory, giving up two unearned runs on four hits with no walks and one strikeout. Kevin T. Greene got the final three outs for his first save of the season.
Hall finished the contest 3-for-4 with two runs scored, while Anderson added two hits and two runs scored and Brodie Ross had two hits and drove in a run. The Bulldogs stranded nine runners in the game, including two each in the fifth and eighth innings.
Jeremy Stawychny (2-1), the second of four Lee hurlers, took the loss, giving up three runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. Lee starter Keegan Yuhl retired nine of the first 10 batters of the game and gave up single runs in the fourth and fifth innings before the Bulldogs exploded in the sixth.
The Flames (30-8) scored in the first inning with back-to-back doubles from Danny Canela and Derrick Pitts, but CU tied the contest in the fourth after Hall reached on an infield single, went to second on a balk and scored on a single through the left side from Ross.
Lee plated four runs in the bottom of the inning to take control, starting with a double by Pitts and a single from Corey Davis. Karsten Strieby’s infield single plated a run before an RBI single from Mark Silva and a bunt single by Chris Avey. Silva scored on a wild pitch and Brandon Rader’s sacrifice fly gave the home team a 5-1 advantage.
Cumberland got a run back in the fifth when Anderson led off with a double and moved to third on a fly ball from Tyler Alford. He scored on catcher’s interference, cutting the deficit to 5-2.
Ross and Daniel Harrison led off the sixth inning with singles and moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt by Richie Seaton. Anderson’s double down the rightfield line plated both runners and ended the day for Yuhl.
With two outs Bartlett singled up the middle, tying the game, before a single by Urquhart set up Hall, who belted his second home run in eight days, a line drive over the wall in right for an 8-5 advantage.
Conley allowed two singles in the fifth and another in the sixth before inducing a doubleplay. The righthander retired the side in the seventh and got the first batter of the eighth before Strieby was hit and Silva singled. Cameron Brewster’s grounder was booted by Craig Monson at first, allowing a run to score, and Rader’s second sac fly of the game cut the Bulldog lead to 8-7.
Greene retired the side in order in the ninth, setting down the 2-3-4 hitters in order to erase any momentum the Flames might have had from the previous inning.
Cumberland faces 21st-ranked Campbellsville University this weekend in a three-game series starting Friday at 5 p.m. Central Time. The Bulldogs lead the Mid-South Conference by one game over the Tigers and three games over Lindsey Wilson with nine league contests remaining on the schedule.