Mayville State (35-8-1)
#13 Cumberland Univ. (41-18-1)
5/10/2013 | Joliet, Ill. | Attendance: 0
Friday, May 10, 2013
JOLIET, Ill. – Justin Johnston’s double tied the game and Anthony Gomez tossed six innings of one-hit relief to pick up the victory, as 13th-ranked Cumberland hung on for a 6-5 win against Mayville State in the NAIA Championship Opening Round here at Silver Cross Field.
The Bulldogs staved off elimination for the second time on Friday with the victory after defeating Trinity Christian, 18-2, earlier in the day. Cumberland (41-18-1) advances to face Judson University on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Eagles put CU into the loser’s bracket with a 7-4 triumph on Thursday in the first game of the tournament for both clubs.
Gomez (11-1) allowed four walks and four strikeouts along with one run in six innings of relief, holding the Comets (35-8-1) as the Bulldogs erased a two-run deficit. Johnston’s two-run double in the fourth inning tied the game and Tyler Anderson’s RBI single to center in the fifth put CU ahead for good.
Cumberland added an unearned run in in the sixth after an errant throw on a possible doubleplay for a 6-4 advantage, but Mayville State plated a run without a hit in the seventh after two walks to start the inning. Gomez retired nine of the final 10 batters of the game, with only a walk in the ninth, but Zachary Mihic popped out to shortstop to end the contest.
Richie Seaton collected two hits for the Bulldogs, including a two-run homer in the first inning that gave CU an early lead. Anderson added two hits and posted six hits in the two games on the day.
Bryan Jacklitch, Phillip Steer and Spencer Kidder all recorded two hits for MSU, but the Comets stranded eight baserunners, including one in every inning but the fourth and eighth.
Victor Sokolofsky (7-1) took the loss for Mayville State, allowing two earned runs on six hits in six innings. The righthander walked three and struck out two.
The Bulldogs started quickly for the second straight game, with Cory Urquhart singling to start the first inning before Seaton belted a two-run homer to rightfield for an early 2-0 edge, just his second home run of the year.
The Comets got a run back in the second when Aaron Miller drew a leadoff walk and Kidder put down a beautiful bunt. The runners moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Sam Thielen and Miller scored on a hard grounder by Dillon Lundin, cutting the CU lead in half.
Mayville State put together five hits in the third inning, ending the day for CU starter Nick Conley.
Jacklitch singled to center to leadoff before a bunt by Steer. Conley and Anderson were slow to react and Steer beat the throw. After a fly out to center, Mihic and Miller both had RBI singles to center, prompting a pitching change, but Kidder greeted Kevin P. Greene with a run-scoring double just inside the rightfield line.
Greene settled down and got the final two outs of the frame, but not before MSU grabbed a 4-2 advantage.
Cumberland had a chance to cut into the deficit in the third, loading the bases with a walk to Urquhart, a single by Seaton and an error allowing Craig Monson to reach. But Brodie Ross grounded sharply to third baseman Jacklitch, who started a 5-2-3 doubleplay, and Daniel Harrison grounded out to end the inning without CU plating a run.
The Bulldogs converted their chances in the fourth inning, tying the game at four.
Anderson drew a leadoff walk and Josciel Veras bunted, but he reached when Sokolofsky booted the ball trying to grab it and tag Veras at the same time along the first base line. Alford advanced the runners with a bunt before Johnston laced an 0-2 pitch into the gap in rightcenter for a two-run double.
In the fifth Harrison dumped a single down the leftfield line with two outs and went to second on a wild pitch. Anderson’s single to center plated the run for a 5-4 Bulldogs lead.
CU scored again in the sixth after Alford singled to leadoff and Urquhart was hit with one out. Seaton bounced to second for what looked to another doubleplay, but the relay throw from Steer was wild and got away, allowing pinch-runner Chris Del Bianco to score on the play for a 6-4 edge.
In the seventh Steer and Kurtis McCallum both walked to leadoff and after failing to get the bunt down, Mihic bounced to first, moving the runners up a base. Pinch-hitter Duell Higbe grounded to deep short and may have beaten the throw to first, but McCallum took off for third and Urquhart threw to Anderson for the tag out.
Steer scored on the play, but the Comets ran themselves out of a possible tying run. Gomez set down the next five batters before a walk to Steer with one out in the ninth. Steer stole second with two outs but Mihic popped out to end the contest.