LEBANON, Tenn. – Philip Sieli tossed 7.1 shutout innings and Sid Kumar delivered a pinch-hit RBI single in the eighth inning, giving Tennessee Wesleyan a 1-0 victory over Cumberland in baseball action here Tuesday at Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.
The loss ended a 10-game winning streak for the Phoenix (16-6), who managed just two hits and five baserunners in a contest that lasted two hours and two minutes.
Sieli did not allow a hit until a single by Peyton Wheatley in the sixth inning and retired 12 straight batters after giving up a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the first. The righthander gave up no runs on two hits with two walks and seven strikeouts, picking up the win.
Daniel Tolano recorded the save for the Bulldogs, getting the final five outs, striking out two. He retired Wheatley and Nick Mira with the tying run in scoring position in the eighth inning and worked a perfect ninth thanks to the aid of a pair of nice running catches by centerfielder Malik Stephens.
Kumar posted an RBI pinch-hit single in the eighth inning after Chris Baetzel reached on a strikeout/wild pitch to start the frame, breaking the scoreless tie. Tennessee Wesleyan (14-11) collected only five hits against two Cumberland hurlers, stranding four baserunners to five for the Phoenix.
Cumberland starter Curtis Hoppe tossed six shutout innings, allowing two hits with one walk and six strikeouts. Travis Dohr (2-1) suffered the loss, giving up one run on three hits with four strikeouts in three innings.
Tennessee Wesleyan managed just two hits and a walk in the first seven innings and Cumberland had only a walk before a chance to take the lead in the fifth.
Cumberland threatened to plate the first run of the game in the fifth inning after a leadoff walk to Kyle Blackwell, who moved to second with one out when Caleb Kellogg’s grounder was booted at second base by Tyler Halas. Hector Morales then ripped a breaking ball toward leftfield, but TWU third baseman Baetzel snagged the line drive and doubled off Blackwell to end the threat.
Wheatley broke up the no-hitter with a single in the sixth and went to second on Mira’s sacrifice bunt, but Carlos Moseley and Rayden Sierra both lined out against Sieli to end the inning.
The Bulldogs broke through with a run in the eighth when Baetzel struck out but reached on a wild pitch, a ball in the dirt that got away from Mira. Stephens moved the runner to second with a sac bunt and Kumar’s solid single to left scored Baetzel with the only run of the contest.
Cumberland got one more chance in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a leadoff single by Caleb Kellogg and a sac bunt from Morales, but Tolano came on to strikeout Wheatley and get a fly out to centerfield from Mira.
Cumberland heads to Bethel University for a 4 p.m. contest and opens Mid-South Conference play this weekend at home with a three-game series against the University of Pikeville beginning Friday.