CU falls to Southern Poly, 6-2
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Southern Poly scored four early runs and Cumberland stranded 15 runners on base, including nine in the first four innings, as the fifth-ranked Hornets defeated CU, 6-2, Wednesday morning at Milton Wheeler Field.
With the loss Cumberland falls into the loser’s bracket and will play again Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the winner of William Carey and Brescia University, who were set to play at 1 p.m.
Southern Poly scored twice in the first and single runs in the second and third innings, taking a 4-1 lead. The Hornets (49-8) plated two more runs in the eighth inning for the victory.
SPSU starter Sean Teague (8-0) struggled mightily with control, walking eight batters in the game after allowing just 14 free passes all season. But the righthander used his sharp-breaking slider to get out of jams, striking out 10 and giving up just an unearned run and six hits in seven innings of work.
Hunter Dinsmore allowed a solo homer in the ninth to Matt Greener but recorded his sixth save of the year, giving up two hits in two innings.
Bulldog starter Shawn Schaefer (6-3) was not sharp early but settled down, retiring 14 straight batters at one point. The lefthander allowed six runs on seven hits with four walks and five strikeouts in eight innings.
Jono Waugh led the Hornets with a pair of hits and three runs scored, tripling home a run and also scoring in the first, walking and scoring in the third and singling and scoring in the eighth. SPSU manufactured a pair of runs with sacrifice flies and plated another with a groundout.
Sam Kikla collected three hits for Cumberland (33-24) and Max Kautz and Greener both added two hits, but CU was just 1-for-17 in the contest with runners in scoring position.
The Bulldogs scored in the first after a leadoff walk to Kautz. Michael Wheeler’s one-out chopper tipped off the glove of SPSU third baseman Joe Wilson and into leftfield. Kautz moved to third on the play and scored on a grounder from Clint Alexander.
But the Hornets answered quickly, starting with a leadoff walk to Jake Barrow. Waugh followed with a triple to rightcenter and scored on a sacrifice fly to right from Josh Grooms.
Southern Poly added another run in the second after a leadoff triple by Chaise Oliver, over the head of Wheeler in left. Chris Hoffer’s groundout put SPSU ahead, 3-1.
Cumberland loaded the bases in the third after a single from Alexander and walks to Eric Mull and Greener, but Tyler Fisher struck out and Kyle West grounded out to end the threat.
SPSU added a run in the third after a walk to Waugh and a single over the head of Alexander at first. Waugh moved to third on the single and scored on a blooper into rightcenter from Daniel Hester.
Again CU put runners on base in the fourth, with a walk to Dave Weyer and a single by Kikla. Wheeler flied out to center and Alexander struck out, as the Bulldogs stranded their eighth and ninth runners of the contest.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases again, this time in the sixth, after a leadoff walk to Weyer and singles from Kautz and Kikla. But again CU missed a prime scoring chance, with Wheeler popping out and Alexander grounding sharply into an easy 6-4-3 doubleplay to end the inning.
In the eighth Waugh singled to center with one out and Josh Grooms followed with a chopper to right. Kautz’s throw to third was airmailed, allowing Grooms to move to second, and Mason Heller was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Hester’s sacrifice fly plated Waugh and Grooms scored on a single through the middle by Oliver for a 6-1 Hornets advantage.