Bulldogs big innings lead to 16-5 victory
LEBANON, Tenn. – Max Kautz homered twice, doubled and drove in five runs and Matt Greener added three hits and five RBIs in second-ranked Cumberland’s 16-5 victory over Freed-Hardeman Friday at Ernest L. Stockton Field.
The Bulldogs (35-8, 8-2 TranSouth) collected 15 hits and took advantage of four walks, a hit batter and one costly error by the Lions (28-13, 6-4) in the shortened contest. Cumberland scored four runs in the second and fifth innings and eight runs in the fourth inning for its sixth straight victory overall and fourth consecutive in conference play. Cumberland and the Lions play a doubleheader Saturday at Noon.
Kautz had a three-run homer in the second and allowed a towering two-run shot in the fourth to conclude the scoring in the eight-run inning. He also doubled to leadoff the fourth.
Greener continued his astonishing offensive display this season after missing most of the last two games with a wrist injury. He doubled to leadoff the second, singled home a pair of runs in the fourth and hit a bases-clearing double in the fifth, extending his hitting streak to 30 games in the process.
Greg Appleton and Jesse Bowman both collected a pair of hits while Appleton, Sam Kikla, Troy Frazier and Kris Miller all scored two runs apiece.
Shawn Schaefer (9-0) was sharp early but struggled a little with his control after the three straight long innings. The lefthander allowed three runs on five hits in six innings with three walks and seven strikeouts for his ninth victory in nine games this season.
Charlie Overturf (5-1) took the loss for FHU, allowing 10 runs on six runs in 3.1 innings. Adam Blackburn gave up six runs on six hits in one-plus inning of work as well for the Lions.
The Bulldogs took an early lead with four runs in the second, highlighted by a wind-blown home run to rightcenter.
Greener led off the inning with a double to leftcenter and David Fanshawe fell behind 0-2 in the count but worked a walk. Kautz squared to bunt on the first pitch but then hit a high fly ball to rightcenter that got into the jet stream and carried over the wall in rightcenter for a three-run homer, Kautz’s sixth of the season.
With two outs in the inning Appleton was hit and he scored when Kikla’s high pop down the rightfield line was dropped by FHU second baseman Josh Reynolds.
Cumberland scored eight more runs in the fourth, taking advantage of one big Lion error in the inning.
Kautz started the inning with a double down the rightfield line off the glove of FHU’s Chris White and Bowman followed with an RBI triple to rightcenter. Appleton then fisted an RBI single into leftfield and Kikla followed with a walk.
Frazier bounced to short for what looked like a doubleplay, but Robert Prieto’s throw to second was wild, loading the bases. Miller ripped a double down the leftfield line, plating a pair, and Greener singled to center, scoring two runs.
Kautz then blasted a two-run shot into the wind in leftfield, one of the longest homers of the season for the Bulldogs.
CU added four runs in the fifth, starting with a leadoff single to center from Appleton and a single to right from Kikla, putting runners on the corners. Frazier grounded to third and Evan Mansell gunned down Appleton at the plate, but Miller walked, loading the bases for Greener, who cleared the bags with his second double of the contest.
Freed-Hardeman scored a pair of runs in the fifth, with Joe Mike leading off with an infield single and Derek Bush drawing a walk. White and Prieto had run-scoring singles in the inning for the Lions.
Nelson Labrada hit a leadoff homer to leftcenter for the Lions in the sixth, his 10th of the season.
In the seventh White and Leamond Arthur both walked against Matt McFarland before a two-run double to deep leftcenter from Brian Bullard, a ball that went off the glove of CU centerfield Frazier before he ran into the wall.