Wilkerson, Kikla help Bulldogs split with ERAU
LEBANON, Tenn. – Aaron Wilkerson tossed a three-hitter with nine strikeouts and Sam Kikla went 4-for-4 with three runs scored and a three-run homer in the opener, as 19th-ranked Cumberland split a doubleheader with Embry-Riddle, winning 7-1 and dropping a 4-2 decision Tuesday at Ernest L. Stockton Field.
The loss in the second game ended a five-game winning streak for the Bulldogs (18-5), but CU took 2-of-3 from the visiting Eagles. Cumberland had the tying runs on base in the seventh in the second contest, but David Fanshawe flied out to end the game.
Wilkerson (3-1) was outstanding in the opener, allowing just three singles while walking one and striking out nine. The righthander ran into trouble in just one inning, when the Eagles had second and third with no one out in the sixth, but ERAU plated just one run in the frame.
Kikla was 4-for-4 with three runs scored and three RBIs in the opener, hitting a three-run homer in the second inning to give the Bulldogs an early 4-0 lead. Matt Greener added three hits and David Fanshawe had two hits while Troy Frazier belted a two-run homer for insurance runs in the sixth, his 10th home run of the season.
ERAU starter Austin Quinn (5-1) took the loss, allowing four runs on 10 hits with one walk and four strikeouts.
In the second game Embry-Riddle scratched across runs in the third and fourth and Manny Reyes’ two-run homer in the fifth gave the Eagles the lead for good. It was the first home run of the season for Reyes and just his third hit of the year.
ERAU starter Jonathan Kountis (5-2) threw a terrific slider and gave up two runs on seven hits in 6.2 innings. The righthander walked three and struck out seven before giving way to Phillip Reamy, who threw just one pitch to pick up his fourth save of the year. Steve Sabins and Branden Roper-Hubbert each had two hits for the Eagles.
Adam Sprague (3-1) suffered the loss, allowing four runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings. He walked four and struck out five. Keith Kirby tossed 2.2 scoreless innings, giving up one hit.
The Bulldogs got on the board early again in the first thing thanks for another ERAU error in the first. Kikla beat out an infield single with one out before a single to left from Frazier. Alex Guzman bobbled the ball in left and Kikla slid in to third just under the tag. Greener then singled sharply to center with two outs, giving CU a 1-0 lead.
Cumberland added three more runs in the second, again with two outs. Brian Karahalios led off the frame by dumping a single into short left. Dave Weyer chopped a single over the third baseman’s head with one out before Kikla belted a two-out, three-run homer to right, his sixth of the season.
In the sixth Dane Beaudette drew a leadoff walk for the Eagles and moved to second on a bad pickoff throw from Wilkerson. Tyler Robbins followed with a single to right and he went to second when the throw sailed high into the infield, putting runners on second and third.
Guzman plated a run with a sacrifice fly to center, and Sabins reached on a throwing error by Greener, putting runners on the corners. But Wilkerson bore down, striking out Austin Goolsby and then getting some defensive help from Fanshawe, who gunned down Sabins at second base on a stolen base attempt to end the inning.
The Bulldogs added three insurance runs in the bottom of the inning, starting with a two-out single by Kikla. Frazier then belted a two-run homer to leftcenter, his team-leading 10th of the year.
Kris Miller followed with a single and Greener walked before an RBI single up the middle from Fanshawe gave the Bulldogs a 7-1 advantage.
The Bulldogs scored twice in the second inning of game two to take another early lead.
Greener led off with a double and Karahalios walked with one out. Greg Appleton then dropped a single into short left, plating Greener, before Weyer was hit, loading the bases. Kikla then hit a slow chopper just over the pitcher’s head and beat it out for an RBI single, giving CU a 2-0 edge.
Embry-Riddle cut the lead in half in the third, but the Eagles could have had more.
Guzman walked with one out and Sabins followed with a single to right. Roper-Hubbert followed with an RBI double, but Sprague induced a popout from Goolsby and then struck out Reyes to end the inning with the Bulldogs leading 2-1.
The Eagles tied the game in the fourth, but again missed an opportunity for more runs.
Mike Jutkiewicz drew a leadoff walk, stole second and moved to third when the throw hit his helmet and bounced into centerfield. Aaron Glaum singled through the middle, tying the contest at two. Robbins followed with a walk, but Guzman and Sabins both grounded out to end the threat without any further damage.
ERAU finally took the lead in the fifth after a leadoff double from Goolsby. Reyes followed with a two-run home run to left, his first of the season, giving the Eagles a 4-2 advantage.
In the CU seventh Miller singled with two outs and Greener walked, ending the day for Kountis. But Fanshawe flied out to leftcenter on the first pitch from Reamy to end the contest.
Cumberland hosts Georgetown College Wednesday in a single game at 2 p.m. at Ernest L. Stockton Field.