CU falls at Lee, 16-5
CLEVELAND, Tenn. – Lee University scored eight runs in the second inning and continued adding to the lead, as the 11th-ranked Flames defeated Cumberland, 16-5, here Tuesday night at Olympic Field.
Cumberland (27-19) stranded 13 runners in the seven-inning game but could not take advantage of opportunities to post a big inning, leaving the bases loaded three times.
Lee scored eight times in the second on six hits, but only two balls left the infield.
Max Kautz went 3-for-4 for the Bulldogs while Michael Wheeler and Clint Alexander both collected two hits for CU.
Eric Spivey (1-2) took the loss, giving up 11 runs on nine hits in three innings of work. Lee’s Brandon Cuniff (3-1), the second of three Flames hurlers, picked up the victory, allowing no runs on three hits in three innings.
Cumberland got on the board with a run in the first and could have had more. Sam Kikla singled with one out and Matt Greener was hit. With two outs Tyler Fisher fisted a single into center, plating Kikla. Eric Mull walked to load the bases, but Matt Holliman struck out to end the inning.
The Bulldogs added another run in the second after a leadoff single from Alexander and a one-out triple to rightcenter by Kautz.
The Flames broke the game open with eight runs in the bottom of the inning, though only two of the balls were hit hard and just three left the infield.
Tanner Moore drew a leadoff walk and Junior Rodriguez hit a high chopper in the hole on the leftside. Holliman got to the ball but really didn’t have a play, though he made a throw to second that bounced into rightfield. Chris Dubon then lifted a soft line drive down the leftfield line, scoring a pair.
Ross Collins was hit and Trey Burstrom pushed a bunt by Spivey, loading the bases. Brian Bistagne then hit a high chopper to Holliman that he thought about flipping to second and then threw to first, but everyone was safe on the play. Julian Alvarez hit another high chopper around the second base bag. Holliman tried to touch the bag as he came by to field the ball but the runner was called safe.
Chris Warters singled home two runners and Elvis Sosa plated another with a single.
Cumberland scored three runs in the third, starting with a solo homer to leftcenter from Wheeler. Mull singled with one out and Alexander followed with a two-out single. With a full count Alexander was off on the pitch to Kyle West, who swung at a ball in the dirt that hit the catcher’s shinguard and bounced almost into the Lee dugout.
Mull scored easily and Alexander kept motoring toward third. Dubon’s throw to first was low and got away and Alexander scored on the play. Kautz then laced a double down the rightfield line and was thinking three again, but pinch-runner Dave Weyer was being held at third. Kautz was also to third before he looked up, causing a rundown. As Kautz headed back to second, Weyer broke for the plate but was tagged out to end the inning.
Moore hit a solo homer for the Flames in the fourth, his 14th of the season.
Lee added three more runs in the third after a leadoff walk to Dubon, an infield single from Collins and an RBI single to left by Burstrom. Bistagne put down a bunt that got by Spivey again and Alvarez drove home a run with a sacrifice fly. The final run of the inning scored on a balk for an 11-5 Flames advantage.
Cumberland loaded the bases in the fifth on a walk to Mull, a hit batter from Alexander and a single by Kautz, but Kikla fouled out to end the threat.
Moore belted a solo shot for Lee in the fifth for a 13-5 home team lead.
In the sixth Sosa singled and Moore walked before Rodriguez hit a line shot three-run homer off the scoreboard in rightfield for the final margin.
CU loaded the bases again in the seventh when Alexander was hit again, West doubled and Kautz was hit, but Kikla and Matt Greener both struck out, ending the contest.
Cumberland plays a three-game series this weekend at Freed-Hardeman, beginning Friday at 5 p.m.