KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Cumberland was just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and the 11th-ranked Bulldogs wasted a tremendous effort from lefthander Anthony Gomez, as Campbellsville scored twice in the 11th inning for a 2-0 victory in the Mid-South Conference Championships here at Hunter Wright Stadium.
With the loss Cumberland (35-16-1) plays at 10 a.m. Eastern Time in the loser’s bracket against Georgetown College, weather permitting. Check GoCumberlandAthletics.com and twitter account @cubulldogs for more information on Saturday’s baseball and softball games.
Cumberland collected nine hits in the game but stranded 11 baserunners, including the bases loaded with no out in the 10th inning. Craig Monson struck out, Brodie Ross grounded out and pinch-hitter Bryan Haney fouled out and the Tigers (30-17) responded quickly.
Josh Potter led off the 11th inning with a double to leftcenter for the Tigers and Travis Hayes bunted, but Gomez’s throw to third was late, putting runners on the corners. After a failed squeeze attempt that Monson nearly caught at first base, Tanner Neilsen doubled to leftcenter, driving in pinch-runner Levi McCamish with the first run of the game and ending the day for Gomez. Keaton Neeb’s long fly ball to rightcenter plated Hayes for a 2-0 Campbellsville edge.
Gomez (10-1) tossed 10 scoreless innings before running into trouble in the final frame. The lefthander gave up just two hits with four walks and two strikeouts. Only two baserunners reached second base in the first 10 innings, both of them Neilsen, once in the third and once in the fifth.
Tylar Schmunk (5-2) tossed 3.1 scoreless innings of relief to pick up the victory, giving up two hits with three strikeouts. Campbellsville starter Patrick McMeel was every bit as good as Gomez, striking out nine in 7.1 innings. The righthander allowed seven hits with two walks and worked around trouble in almost every inning.
Cory Urquhart collected three of CU’s nine hits in the contest and Josciel Veras added two hits.
The Bulldogs had the best scoring chance in the first three innings of the game, with Veras leading off the third with a single to left. With one out Urquhart singled to rightcenter, putting runners on the corners, but Chris Hall fouled out. Urquhart went to second on a wild pitch, but Monson looked at a called third strike, a slider from McMeel on the inside corner, ending the threat for CU.
Walks to Urquhart and Monson ended the day for McMeel in the eighth, but reliever Allen Hewey struck out Ross and Schmunk struck out Daniel Harrison to end that threat as well.
Tyler Alford led off the bottom of the 10th with a double off the base of the wall in centerfield and Urquhart dumped a single into short rightfield. Hall then bunted and Schmunk’s throw to third pulled Potter off the bag, loading the bases. Monson swung meekly at two curveballs before taking a called third strike. Ross grounded to third and Potter was handcuffed by the ground ball but got the out at the plate before Haney, making just his 11th at-bat of the season, fouled out to end the inning.
Potter hit the first pitch from Gomez into the gap in leftcenter to start the 11th inning, eventually sending the Bulldogs to the loss.