Frazier's big day propels CU to wild victory
LEBANON, Tenn. – Matt Greener’s bloop single plated Troy Frazier in the bottom of the ninth, ending a wild game that included 38 hits and two seven-run innings, as fourth-ranked Cumberland outlasted No. 8 Lee Univ., 17-16, Tuesday afternoon at Ernest L. Stockton Field.
Frazier hit a pair of home runs for the Bulldogs (29-7), who came from behind three times in the contest and ended a two-game losing streak to the Flames (29-10). Cumberland had seven homers in the contest, a season-high, and used the long ball to stay in the game on a day the wind was blowing out to rightfield with gale force.
Frazier and David Fanshawe belted home runs in the third and Kris Miller and Greener hit back-to-back shots to leadoff the seventh to tie the game. The Bulldogs added five more runs in the seventh, including Frazier’s second home run of the game and a three-run shot from Greg Appleton, to take a 14-9 lead.
But Lee answered with seven runs of its own in the top of the eighth, with eight consecutive batters reaching including six hits, a walk and a hit batter. Cumberland tied the game again in the bottom of the inning on a groundout from Max Kautz and a two-out double from Appleton that scored Kautz from first.
In the ninth Frazier led off with a double down the leftfield line, his fourth hit of the day, and the Flames intentionally walked Miller to face Greener, who entered the game batting .496. The senior fisted a single into short left and Frazier’s slide to the inside avoided the tag for the winning run.
Frazier was 4-for-6 with four RBIs and four runs scored in the contest, while Appleton added three hits and four RBIs and Greener had three hits and two RBIs. Miller and Kautz posted two hits apiece and Kautz scored three times.
Jose Cuevas led the Flames with four hits, including three doubles, while Michael Brown had three hits, drove in six runs and scored three times. Junior Rodriguez also registered three hits, while Tanner Moore, Edgar Molina, Seth Walker and Trey Burstrom all collected two hits each for Lee.
Robert Post (3-2), the fifth Bulldog pitcher of the day, picked up the victory, allowing just one hit and striking out four in 1.2 innings of work. Aaron Everett (3-4), the fourth Lee hurler in the contest, took the loss, giving up three runs on three hits in 1.1 innings.
The Bulldogs scored twice in the first to take an early lead. Appleton hit a double off the wall in rightfield and Frazier doubled to right with one out, a ball that cleared the fence but was pulled back in by Lee’s Brown, but the fence lodged the ball loose from his glove. Appleton scored on the play and Miller followed with an RBI single to center.
The Flames wasted little time tying the contest, with Taylor Comford drawing a one-out walk in the second and Burstrom lining a two-run homer over the wall in leftcenter.
Lee added four more runs in the third, again with the long ball. Cuevas and Rodriguez started the inning with back-to-back doubles before Brown hit a three-run homer to dead centerfield for a 6-2 Flames lead.
The Bulldogs came back with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, also via the home run. Sam Kikla led off with a walk before Frazier lined a two-run homer to right, his 13th of the year. Three batters later Fanshawe drilled a solo home run just to the left of the batter’s eye for his third of the season.
Kautz’s solo homer to rightcenter with one out in the fourth tied the game at six.
The visitors regained the lead in the fifth after consecutive walks to Seth Walker and Comford. Brown then laced an RBI single into center for a 7-6 Lee advantage.
The Flames scored twice more in the sixth, as Moore tripled with one out and Cuevas followed with a single down the leftfield line. Rodriguez then singled and Walker’s two-out single to right plated Cuevas for a 9-6 lead.
Cumberland got a run back in the bottom of the inning but missed a chance for more. T.J. Murphy led off with an infield single and Kautz followed with a perfect bunt single, but Murphy was thrown out trying to take third on a pitch in the dirt. Kautz eventually scored on a wild pitch, cutting the deficit to two.
The Bulldogs tied the game quickly to start the seventh with solo homers from Miller and Greener. Fanshawe then doubled and Danny Gallinot drew a walk. Adrian Mull gave the Bulldogs the lead with a soft single to left before Appleton’s three-run homer one batter later. Frazier hammered a fastball well into the trees in dead center later in the inning for a 14-9 CU lead.
But back came the Flames, starting with another double from Cuevas. Rodriguez followed with a single and Molina’s single drove in a run. Walker’s single to center loaded the bases and Comford drew his fourth free pass of the game, forcing in a run.
Brown then chopped a single into left, scoring two runs, and Burstrom doubled down the leftfield line, plating another. JJ Constantino was hit, loading the bases, and Moore and Cuevas had back-to-back sacrifice flies for a 16-14 Lee advantage.
Cumberland came right back again, as Fanshawe was hit to leadoff the bottom of the inning and pinch-hitter Brian Karahalios walked. Kautz’s ground ball scored pinch-runner Dave Weyer before Appleton ripped a double off the base of the centerfield wall, with Kautx scoring from first on the play.
Cumberland plays at Campbellsville Univ. Wednesday in a single game at 2 p.m. CT before heading to rival Trevecca Nazarene for a three-game series starting Friday at 2 p.m.