CU splits at Milligan
LEBANON, Tenn. – Dave Weyer collected four hits in a doubleheader and James Parker scattered eight hits in a seven-inning shutout, as 21st-ranked Cumberland split a pair of games Wednesday at Milligan College in Johnson City, Tenn.
Cumberland (25-16) has won 15 of its last 17 games and re-entered the NAIA Coaches Top 25 poll for the first time in more than a month on Tuesday.
Parker (2-3) worked out of jams in the second, third and sixth innings, including bases loaded with no outs in the second and first and third with one out in the third. The righthander walked one and struck out four in his second complete game of the season.
Christian Jennings (1-2) picked up the loss in the second game, allowing three runs on four hits in five innings in his first appearance since March 15. He walked two and struck out five. Matt Burton tossed a perfect final inning for the Bulldogs.
Weyer went 3-for-3 in the opener and added another hit and CU’s only run in the second game. Sam Kikla and Michael Wheeler both recorded one hit in each contest.
Michael Dillow (2-1) lost the opener for Milligan, giving up three runs on six hits in six innings of work, walking two and striking out one.
Frank Newcomb (1-0) posted the win for the Buffaloes (29-12) in the second game, allowing one run on four hits in five innings while striking out five. Jason Trevitt walked one and struck out one in the seventh for his ninth save of the year.
The Bulldogs got on the board with a pair of runs in the fourth in the first game after a leadoff single from Matt Greener. Tyler Fisher followed with a triple before an RBI groundout by Eric Mull.
CU added another run in the fifth after a leadoff single from Weyer. After a pair of fielder’s choices, Wheeler singled to center with two outs. Matt Holliman reached third on the single and scored on an error by Milligan second baseman Justin Motte for a 3-0 Bulldogs lead.
Milligan missed their chances early in the game, loading the bases with no outs in the second before a strikeout and a doubleplay ended the threat. They also had first and third with one out in the third before consecutive ground balls were turned into outs to end the inning.
The Buffaloes also recorded a single and a walk in the fifth. Dallas Crouch then singled to left with one out, but Todd Caldwell was thrown out at the plate by Wheeler, ending another Milligan threat.
Cumberland scored quickly in the second game after three straight singles from Weyer, Kikla and Wheeler to start the first inning. Weyer scored on a sacrifice fly to right from Brian Karahalios, but pinch-runner Chris Fanning was picked off and Blake Simmons struck out to end the inning without any further damage.
Brandon Murphy’s two-out, solo homer to left in the second tied the game at one.
Milligan took the lead in the third after pinch-hitter Spencer Street tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly by Justin Motte. The Buffaloes added another run in the fifth after the Randy Rabon doubled with one out and Motte doubled down the rightfield line with two outs, giving the home team a 3-1 edge.
CU missed a chance in the fifth after Jeremy Malmendier led off with a walk and Corey Merrill followed with a walk. Chuck Belote sacrificed the runners to second and third, but Weyer fouled out and Kikla lined out to end the threat.
In the Bulldog sixth Wheeler reached on an error and Karahalios singled to start the frame. Will Curry struck out and pinch-hitter Holliman grounded into an inning-ending doubleplay.
Cumberland hosts Georgetown College Thursday in a single game at 3 p.m. at Ernest L. Stockton Field before hitting the road this weekend for a nonconference series at Lambuth. The Bulldogs and Eagles will play a doubleheader Friday at 1 p.m. and a single game Saturday at 1 p.m.