Bulldog season ends with 6-4 loss
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Jose Ayala and David Trisler both drove in three runs and reliever Matt Carter tossed 3.2 hitless innings for the victory, as host William Carey defeated Cumberland, 6-4, eliminating the Bulldogs from the NAIA Baseball Championship Opening Round at Milton Wheeler Field.
William Carey (35-21) advances to play Savannah College of Art & Design in another elimination game at 3:30 p.m. Thursday while the season ends for Cumberland (33-25).
Trisler hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, giving the Crusaders a 4-1 lead, but the Bulldogs tied the contest with a run in the fifth and two more in the sixth. Carey took the lead with an infield RBI single by Ayala in the bottom of the sixth and then a two-out single to center from the shortstop in the eighth. He also drove in the game’s first run with an RBI single in the first.
Carter (3-4), who picked up a save in WCC’s first win of the day, did not allow a hit and walked just one while striking out two. The righthander was the third pitcher of the day for the Crusaders. Carey starter Ian Sharp tossed 5.1 innings, giving up four runs on six hits with four walks and eight strikeouts.
Bulldog starter Robert Post (6-4) worked 5.2 innings before running out of gas. The righthander allowed five runs, two earned, on just four hits, walking seven and striking out a career-high 10.
Richard Timbrook worked the final 2.1 innings, giving up one run on four hits with four strikeouts.
Michael Wheeler and Matt Holliman both had a pair of hits for CU, but the Bulldogs stranded nine more baserunners in the contest and 24 in the two games Wednesday.
William Carey scored a run in the first and could have added more. Jacob Casey drew a one-out walk and Jason Terrell walked with two outs. Ayala’s single up the middle plated Casey before another free pass, this one to Josh Dannelley, loaded the bases. But Post dropped a 3-2 curveball in for strike three to Leon Farmer, ending the inning without any further damage.
The Bulldogs tied the game after a leadoff walk to Eric Mull and a bloop single from Wheeler. Holliman sacrificed the runners to second and third and Mull scored on a groundout by Kyle West.
Carey retook the lead, taking advantage of a Bulldog miscue in the fourth. Brandon Chretien reached on an error by Sam Kikla at short and Jordan Prout walked with one out. Trisler then ripped a 3-1 fastball over the wall in rightcenter for a 4-1 Crusaders edge.
CU got a run back in the fifth after a leadoff walk to Dave Weyer and singles from Max Kautz and Kikla. Weyer scored on Kikla’s single to left, but Matt Greener struck out, Clint Alexander fouled out and Mull grounded out to end the threat.
The Bulldogs tied the contest in the sixth and could have had more. Holliman belted his 10th homer of the season, an opposite field shot. West struck out but reached on a wild pitch and Weyer walked, chasing Sharp from the contest.
Kautz drew a walk as well and Kikla was hit, forcing in the tying run, but CU left the bases loaded after Greener flied out and Alexander grounded out.
The Crusaders retook the lead in the bottom of the inning, starting with a leadoff walk to Shannon Steed. Trisler drew a two-out walk and Post threw three balls to Terrell before being replaced. Terrell walked and Ayala beat out a slow roller down the third base line, scoring Steed with the go-ahead run.
Carey scored an insurance run in the eighth after a leadoff single from Casey and a walk to Trisler. Ayala singled to center with one out, scoring Casey for a 6-4 WCC advantage.
The Crusaders left 13 runners on base in the contest as well, as neither team took advantage of 14 walks issued by the two pitching staffs.