|March 14, 2018||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|Win: Valcarcel (1-0)||1.1||1||0||0||1||1|
|Loss: Stevens (2-1)||5.0||5||4||4||1||5|
LEBANON, Tenn. – Jack Surber’s three-run homer capped a four-run fifth inning, part of a 3-for-3 day for Surber, propelling Bethel University to a 6-2 victory over Cumberland in baseball action Wednesday in McKenzie, Tenn.
The Phoenix (16-7) dropped their second straight game after 10 consecutive victories, managing just six hits and stranding eight runners in the defeat. Bethel (10-9) ran its winning streak to four games with the win.
Cumberland took a 2-0 lead in the third inning thanks to a solo home run by Janson Neff and a sacrifice fly from Nick Mira, but the Phoenix left the bases loaded in the inning.
The Wildcats answered with four runs in the fifth, the first on a Jacob Foster groundout before the three-run homer to right by Surber. Jackson Hollinshed’s RBI single and Austin Brenner’s run-scoring groundout added two insurance runs in the sixth for Bethel.
Cumberland starter Monty Stevens (2-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on five hits in five innings. He walked one, hit four and struck out five, working in-and-out of trouble until Surber’s big blow in the fifth.
Bethel starter Austin Elrod tossed four innings, giving up two runs on four hits. Axel Valcarcel (1-0) pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to post the victory and Axle Metzger picked up his first save, getting the last five outs, including four strikeouts.
Neff led off the third inning with a solo homer to left and Hector Morales singled to left with one out. Rayden Sierra reached on an error and Carlos Moseley singled to right, loading the bases. Mira’s sacrifice fly plated Morales for a 2-0 lead, but after a Kyle Blackwell walk loaded the bases again, Mykel Gordon grounded out to end the inning.
Bethel had six baserunners in the first four innings, three of those via the hit by pitch, but Stevens worked around the runners to get out of trouble.
That didn’t hold in the fifth, with Kendall Adkisson leading off with a double before Hollinshed was hit. Brenner singled to center, loading the bases, and Foster’s groundout to third scored Adkisson but gave the Phoenix two outs in the inning. Surber followed with the three-run homer to right, the big blow in the game, for a 4-2 Bethel advantage.
In the sixth Brandon Lott led off with a double and moved to third on a wild pitch. Chandler Harmon was hit by CU reliever Jackson White and with one out, Hollinshed reached on an infield single. Lott scored and Harmon moved to third on an errant throw by Morales on the play. Brenner’s fielder’s choice plated the final run of the contest.
Cumberland begins Mid-South Conference play this weekend with a three-game series against the University of Pikeville beginning with a Noon doubleheader Saturday at Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.