Greener's heroics lead CU to 11-9 triumph
LEBANON, Tenn. – Matt Greener hit a pair of three-run homers, one in the first and another in the ninth, as 19th-ranked Cumberland scored three times in the final inning to take an 11-9 victory over Georgetown College Wednesday afternoon at Robert Wilson Field in Georgetown, Ky.
Greener collected three hits and drove in a career-high seven runs in the victory for Cumberland (23-5), which defeated the Tigers for the second time in a week. CU won 17-7 at home last Wednesday.
The Bulldogs scored five runs in the first three innings, with Greener hitting a three-run homer in the first and then driving in a run with a single in the third as well as an RBI groundout from Brian Karahalios.
But Georgetown (10-15) plated eight runs on eight hits in the bottom of the third after CU starter Peter Taraskevich. The Tigers added another run in the bottom of the eighth after the Bulldogs tied the game in the top of the frame before Greener’s heroics in the ninth gave Cumberland the victory.
CU had just eight hits in the game but took advantage of five walks and a hit batter to win its fifth straight game and 10th in the last 11 outings. Troy Frazier added two hits and two runs scored, while Sam Kikla, Kris Miller and Dave Weyer all scored twice.
Matt McFarland really saved the Bulldogs, working five-plus innings and allowing just one run on three hits with three walks and one strikeout. The lefthander kept CU in the game after the big inning for Georgetown.
Daniel Kern (1-1) worked hitless innings to get the victory, striking out two.
Mitchell Earles (1-1), the third and final hurler for the Tigers, took the loss, giving up four runs on four hits with three strikeouts in three innings.
Kikla was hit with one out and Miller walked with two outs in the first before Greener belted his 10th home run of the season to rightfield to give the Bulldogs another early lead. It marked the 18th time in 28 games this season that CU has scored in the first inning.
Cumberland added two more runs in the third, starting with an infield single from Frazier and another walk to Miller. Greener singled home a run and Miller later scored on a groundout by Karahalios for a 5-0 Bulldog advantage.
The Tigers exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the inning to take the lead. Mike Steinke drew a one-out walk and Chris Wood and Tyler Fisher followed with singles, loading the bases.
Pete Thackston drove home a pair of runs with a single and Taylor Hatfield plated one run with another single. Michael Schornick had yet another single, loading the bases again, before an infield single from TC Oneal scored one more run.
Taylor Payne then singled home two runs and Payne moved to second on the throw. Steinke followed with a two-run single, chasing Taraskevich after eight runs and eight hits in the inning.
Cumberland chipped away with two runs in the sixth. Karahalios reached and advanced to second on an error by Oneal in leftfield. Greg Appleton then reached on an error by Hatfield at third base, and both runners moved up on a groundout by Max Kautz. T.J. Murphy drove home both runs with a single through the leftside, cutting the Georgetown lead to 8-7.
The Bulldogs tied the game in the eighth after Karahalios led off with a double and pinch-runner Weyer moved to third on a line out from pinch-hitter Jesse Bowman. Weyer later scored on a wild pitch from Earles, knotting the score.
But the Tigers came right back with a run in the bottom of the inning on a solo homer down the leftfield line from Fisher.
In the ninth Kikla led off with a walk and Frazier followed with a single. After Miller popped out, Greener hit an 0-1 pitch over the wall in leftfield, giving the Bulldogs the lead for good.
Kern retired the side in order for the victory, CU’s second big comeback of the season in the final inning after the club scored six runs in the seventh to erase a 3-0 deficit against third-ranked Oklahoma City Univ. on March 7.
Cumberland heads to Jackson, Tenn., this weekend for the TranSouth Conference opening series against Union University starting Friday at 6 p.m. at Fesmire Field. The Bulldogs and Union will play a doubleheader Saturday starting at Noon. Friday’s game will be broadcast on 1490 AM WCOR, while Saturday’s twinbill may be heard on 98.9 FM WANT.