LEBANON, Tenn. – Austin Brenner and Juan Torres delivered RBI singles in the seventh inning and Bethel University added two more runs in the eighth in a 5-2 victory over Cumberland in baseball action Monday in McKenzie, Tenn.
The Phoenix (20-10) managed nine hits but stranded eight baserunners in the loss, including the bases loaded in the first and two runners in the ninth.
Ryan Hill (3-2) cruised through six innings for Cumberland before running into trouble in the seventh. The righthander allowed one run on just four hits with four strikeouts through six innings but walked two of the first three hitters in the seventh.
Lucas Riddick drew a free pass for the Wildcats (18-11) and stole second, scoring on Brenner’s single to shallow rightfield. After a walk to Jack Surber, Torres posted an RBI single to rightcenter for a 3-2 Bethel edge, ending the day for Hill.
Brad Smith got out of the inning with two strikeouts but then hit Jacob Foster to start the eighth before a single from Nicholas Proto. Peyton Wheatley misplayed the base hit and Foster scored all the way from first. Matt Rowe entered and his error allowed Proto to come across with the second unearned run of the inning.
Eddie McDaniels, Jacob Herrera and Wheatley each registered two hits and McDaniels drove in a run and scored for the Phoenix. Brenner finished 4-for-4 with three doubles, two RBIs and a run scored for the Wildcats.
Bretton Hazlewood (2-1) posted the victory on the mound for Bethel, giving up one earned run on eight hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out three. Austin Elrod tossed a perfect eighth and Giovannie Nieves worked the ninth for his third save, allowing a single to Tyler Jones and a walk to Wheatley before McDaniels grounded out to end the contest.
McDaniels and Bentley Jones both singled to start the top of the first for CU and a grounder to the mound by LaDarius Williams was misplayed by Britton, loading the bases with one out. Kyle Blackwell walked, forcing in a run, but Tyler Jones bounced into a fielder’s choice to end the inning with just a 1-0 lead for the Phoenix.
The Wildcats tied the game in the fourth when Riddick singled with two outs, stole second and scored on Brenner’s double to rightcenter.
Wheatley singled for Cumberland to leadoff the fifth and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by McDaniels. With two outs Jose Vera singled through the left side, but Wheatley was thrown out at the plate by trying to score, keeping the game 1-1.
The Phoenix regained the lead in the top of the seventh after a double by Herrera. Pinch-runner Reid Bass moved to third on a groundout by Wheatley and scored on McDaniel’s two-out single through the left side.
That lead was short-lived, with Bethel scoring twice in the seventh and eighth innings to take the victory.
Cumberland hosts sixth-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan this Wednesday for a 1 p.m. doubleheader at Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.