Wilkerson shuts out Bethel
PADUCAH, Ky. – Aaron Wilkerson struck out 11 and scattered seven hits in a complete game, Kris Miller hit a pair of solo homers and second-ranked Cumberland scored in every inning but the seventh en route to a 9-0 victory over Bethel University Tuesday in the TranSouth Championships here at Brooks Stadium.
With the victory Cumberland (48-8) extended its winning streak to 19 games overall and will now play in the winner’s bracket final Wednesday at Noon against either Martin Methodist or Union University, the late game in the tournament on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs pounded out 18 hits, including 10 for extra bases, and hit three home runs, the two from Miller and another solo shot by Sam Kikla, who went 3-for-5 in the contest with a double and triple as well. Miller and Dave Weyer added three hits each for CU, while Troy Frazier, David Fanshawe, Max Kautz and T.J. Murphy all collected two hits in the contest.
Wilkerson (11-1) was dominant from the start, giving up four singles and three doubles in the contest. He did not walk a batter, tossed just 114 pitches and did not allow a runner to reach third base. Five of the seven hits came with two outs and the next batter was retired on all five occasions.
Cumberland tied a season-high by stranding 14 runners in the game, but it did not hurt the Bulldogs as it did earlier in the year when they stranded 14 in an 11-4 loss to the Wildcats (32-17-1).
Colby Fitzpatrick (4-3), the first of four Bethel hurlers, took the loss, giving up four runs on seven hits in three innings. He walked three, hit a batter and struck out two. Fitzpatrick walked three in the first inning but gave up just a run after getting an inning-ending doubleplay. Cumberland left the bases loaded against the righthander in the third as well.
The Bulldogs scored once in the first and missed a great chance for more. Greg Appleton and Kikla both walked to leadoff and Matt Greener singled to center, plating Appleton. Frazier walked with one out to load the bases, but Fanshawe bounced into a 5-4-3 doubleplay to end the inning.
In the second Murphy and Weyer both singled with one out and Murphy’s aggressive running put runners on second and third. Appleton’s sacrifice fly to left plated a run before an RBI double down the leftfield line from Kikla gave CU a 3-0 advantage.
Miller led off the third with a line drive homer over the wall in left, his 19th of the season, and Kikla did the same to leadoff the fourth, his 16th of the year, for a 5-0 Bulldog lead.
Cumberland added another run in the fifth after three straight singles from Kautz, Murphy and Weyer to leadoff the inning loaded the bases. Appleton’s grounder plated a run, but the Bulldogs were unable to add more.
Miller blasted his second homer of the game to leadoff the sixth, a towering shot well over the wall.
In the eighth Fanshawe singled and both runners were safe after a fielder’s choice from Jesse Bowman. A wild pitch moved pinch-runner Jason Frost to third and pinch-hitter Brian Karahalios lined out to left, scoring Frost.
CU scored again in the ninth after a leadoff triple from Kikla and an RBI groundout by Miller.