Bulldogs survive 8-6 in 12 innings
LEBANON, Tenn. – Clint Alexander’s RBI double in the ninth tied the contest and Cumberland scored twice in the 12th inning for an 8-6 victory over Martin Methodist Monday in the opening game of the TranSouth Championships at Fesmire Field in Jackson, Tenn.
Cumberland (31-21) advances to a 3:30 p.m. contest Tuesday against the loser of the Lyon College-Freed-Hardeman game.
Max Kautz collected three hits and four RBIs and four other Bulldogs recorded two hits apiece. Martin Methodist (20-24) scored twice in the first and one more run in the second inning and then plated two runs in the sixth to take a 5-4 lead.
But Alexander’s double to deep center, in which MMC’s Brayden Baxter slipped on a very wet outfield, allowed pinch-runner Tyler Fisher to score from first and tie the game.
The Bulldogs plated a run in the 11th on an RBI single from Kautz, but Redhawks pinch-hitter Seth Cunningham’s double to left plated Seth McConnell with the tying run in the bottom of the inning.
In the 12th Sam Kikla’s single to rightcenter scored Dave Weyer and a sacrifice fly to left from Fisher scored Michael Wheeler for the Bulldogs.
CU starter Richard Timbrook settled down after the first two innings, giving up five runs, three earned, on nine hits with two walk and three strikeouts. Adam Sprague (5-4) posted the win, allowing one run on five hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
MMC starter Bryan Woodlee threw nearly 150 pitches in 9.1 innings of work and nearly beat the Bulldogs if not for some bad luck. The lefthander allowed five runs on nine hits with three walks and four strikeouts.
Jerry McMurtry (0-2), the fourth of five Redhawks hurlers, took the loss, giving up two runs in three hits in one-plus inning.
The Redhawks scored twice in the first after one-out singles from Brendan Palm and Cliff Hardy. Adam Stooksberry was hit, loading the bases, before a walk to Hector Lora forced in a run. A sacrifice fly by Josh Swipas plated Hardy for a 2-0 MMC lead.
CU plated three runs in the second, starting with a leadoff bloop double from Kikla. Alexander and Kyle West both drew two-out walks before Max Kautz cleared the bases with a triple down the rightfield line.
Martin Methodist tied the contest in the bottom of the inning after a two-out walk to Kris Ruderer, who stole second. He scored on a single through the middle by Palm.
Matt Holliman’s solo homer to centerfield, his eighth of the season, gave the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead in the fifth.
MMC took the lead in the sixth with a pair of Bulldog mistakes. Swipas singled with one out and moved to second on a wild pitch. Rudy Lyles then grounded back to Timbrook, but the ball bounced off his glove and into no-man’s land, putting runners on the corners.
Pinch-hitter Zach Byler struck out, but Lyles stole second on a ball down and away to Byler. Baxter showed bunt with two outs and the ball bounced off West’s glove, reaching the backstop. Swipas hesitated but still scored and Baxter’s double over the head of Kautz in rightfield plated Lyles with the go-ahead run.
The Bulldogs got lucky in the ninth after Fisher led off with a single. With one out Alexander laced a drive to deep center and Baxter slipped making the pivot to retreat for the ball. It fell near the wall and Fisher came around to score from first, tying the contest at five.
In the 11th West walked with two outs and Weyer stole second. He moved to third when Lora’s throw sailed into centerfield and Kautz’s single through the middle plated the run.
But the Redhawks tied the game in the bottom of the inning. McConnell singled to right with one out before Cunningham laced a double over the head of Wheeler, his first extra-base hit of the year, tying the game at six.
CU plated two runs in the 12th, starting with a leadoff single to right by Matt Greener and a walk to Wheeler. Kikla then lined a single into rightcenter, scoring Weyer, and Fisher’s lineout to left plated Wheeler.
Freed-Hardeman and Lyon College were set to play the second game of the day Monday, with the loser facing the Bulldogs on Tuesday.