LEBANON, Tenn. – Hector Morales and Mykel Gordon each posted three hits with two RBIs, but Bethel University took advantage of four Cumberland errors and the Wildcats scored in every inning en route to a 10-8 victory over the Phoenix in baseball action Wednesday evening in McKenzie, Tenn.
Morales and Jared Schmidt each belted two-run homers in a four-run third inning for Cumberland (28-15), but the Wildcats tied the game at with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Bethel scored three times in the fifth to take the lead for good, though the Phoenix plated two runs in the seventh and left the bases loaded to end the contest.
Peyton Wheatley and Jordan Hunt added two hits apiece and Morales and Hunt scored twice for Cumberland, which lost its fourth straight game.
Colby Poston led the Wildcats offense, going 3-for-3 with two runs while Jackson Hollinshed posted two hits and Lucas Riddick and Sidney Rickman drove in two runs each. Ryan Robertson (1-0), the third of six Bethel hurlers, got the win, giving up one unearned run on three hits in 2.0 innings of work.
Jackson White (0-2), the second of three pitchers for the Phoenix, took the loss, allowing four runs, two earned, on two hits with two strikeouts in 1.1 innings.
Andy Garretson led off the game with a single and Morales followed with a single as well and Garretson took third on a wild pitch by Bethel starter Brandon Degnegaard, though Garretson was later picked off. Gordon’s two-out single to center plated Morales for a 1-0 CU edge after a half inning.
Riddick hit the second pitch from Cumberland starter Brandon Smith for a home run to right to start the bottom of the inning. Kendall Adkisson was hit and went to second on a passed ball before a walk to Jack Surber. Poston’s one-out single to left plated Adkisson for a 2-1 Bethel lead.
Chandler Harmon walked to leadoff the bottom of the second for the Wildcats and Braden Lott’s sacrifice bunt pushed pinch-runner Bradley Gill to second. A wild pitch moved the runner to third and Riddick’s sacrifice fly made it 3-1 for the home team.
Cumberland answered with four runs in the third, as Garretson reached on an error before Morales hit his fifth home run of the season to center. With one out Gordon singled and Schmidt belted his fifth homer as well, another two-run shot to center, putting the Phoenix ahead, 5-3.
That lead didn’t last long though, as Hollinshed singled with one out in the bottom of the inning and Poston followed with a single. Logan Talley’s ground ball to short was booted by Hunt, allowing Hollinshed to score on the play and Poston to reach third. Rickman’s sac fly to center tied the game at five.
The Wildcats regained the lead in the fourth when Riddick was hit with one out, went to second on a groundout by Adkisson, stole third and scored when the throw got away.
Cumberland took advantage of an error in the fifth to even the contest once again, with Hunt reaching on a walk and Wheatley singling with one out. Both runners moved up a base on the misplayed base hit and Garretson’s sacrifice fly to leftcenter made it 6-6.
Hollinshed was hit to leadoff the bottom of the inning and Poston singled. Rickman’s one-out doubled down the leftfield line plated one run and Lee McBunch’s sacrifice fly pushed across another. Austin Brenner’s two-out grounder to short was booted by Hunt, allowing a third run to score in the inning for a 9-6 Bethel advantage.
Surber and Hollinshed both singled to with one out in the sixth and the runners moved up a base on a bad pickoff attempt. Poston’s sac fly gave the Wildcats an insurance run for a 10-6 lead.
Cumberland made it interesting in the seventh, starting with a leadoff double from Hunt and pinch-hitter Jacob Herrera walked. Wheatley singled to right, plating Hunt, and Garretson walked, loaded the bases.
Morales struck out and Caleb Kellogg’s grounder to third turned into a force out at the plate. Gordon then singled to right, plating Wheatley, but Kyle Blackwell grounded out to short to end the contest. Cumberland stranded 12 baserunners in the seven-inning contest, including the bases loaded in the fourth and seventh innings and two runners in the first and third frames.