LEBANON, Tenn. – Cory Farris hit a walkoff home run in the eighth inning in the first game and Mike Mandarino allowed one run on two hits in six innings of work in the second contest, as top-ranked Cumberland swept a doubleheader from Missouri Baptist, 3-2 and 7-1, in baseball action Saturday at Ernest L. Stockton Field.
Cumberland plays at home again Sunday, taking on the University of Saint Francis (Ind.) in a doubleheader starting at 12:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs (2-0) managed just five hits in the opening contest, but Farris’ solo shot to rightfield with one out in the eighth inning gave CU an opening win for the second straight season. For her efforts Farris was named the Music City Star of the Game. Cumberland scored two runs in the second and third innings of the second game, more than enough for Mandarino (1-0), who retired 10 straight in the middle innings and 15 of the first 16 batters of the game.
The righthander walked one and struck out five in six innings while Christian Jennings tossed a perfect seventh inning. Mandarino also had three RBIs in the doubleheader, driving in a run with a sacrifice fly in the opener along with an RBI single and another sac fly in the second contest.
Keith Kirby (1-0) tossed 3.1 innings of scoreless relief to pick up the victory in the opener, giving up two hits and striking out one. Will Locante started the contest for CU and worked out of a couple of jams before giving up a game-tying single in the fifth. Locante walked five and struck out five in 4.2 innings, allowing four hits.
Greg Appleton collected a hit in each game and scored three times, while Farris collected three hits and scored twice on the day.
Aaron Matula (0-1) took the loss for the Spartans (0-2) in the opener, giving up three hits but striking out three in 2.1 innings of relief. Starter Drew Firebaugh danced around trouble on several occasions but gave up just two first-inning runs and two hits while walking three and striking out six.
Sean Woolard was undone by poor defense in the second contest, as MBU committed a pair of errors that led to the first two Bulldog runs. Woolard allowed four runs on six hits while striking out five in four innings of work.
The Spartans got on the board first in the opener, taking advantage of a pair of two-out walks. Yuriel Nieves then blooped a single into short rightcenter for a quick 1-0 MBU advantage.
The Bulldogs answered quickly in the bottom of the inning, with Tommy Winegardner drawing a four-pitch walk to leadoff and stealing second. Appleton then doubled into rightcenter, tying the contest at one.
David Fanshawe’s groundout pushed Appleton to third and some good baserunning put the Bulldogs ahead. Mandarino popped out to MBU second baseman Jose Madera in short rightfield, but Madera’s momentum took him further into the outfield, allowing Appleton to beat the throw to the plate for a 2-1 CU lead.
Cumberland threatened again in the third, with Richie Seaton drawing a leadoff walk and Appleton reaching on an error by rightfielder Adalberto Vargas. But Fanshawe struck out and after Mandarino was hit to load the bases, Farris also struck out to end the inning.
Locante worked around his own throwing error and a walk in the second and third innings, respectively, as well as a single and a walk in the fourth, but MBU pushed across a run in the fifth to tie the contest.
Omar Artsen drew a one-out walk and Vargas followed with a single. A fielder’s choice put runners on the corners with two outs and Nieves delivered a solid single into rightcenter, knotting the game at two and ending the day for the Bulldog lefthander.
In the second game Fanshawe reached on an error by third baseman Scott Krutel to start the second inning. Pinch-runner Daniel Harrison moved to second on a groundout and scored on T.J. Murphy’s single through the rightside. He moved to second on the throw to the plate and came across when Antonio Butler beat out an infield single and the throw got away at first.
In the third Appleton walked to leadoff and Farris followed with an RBI double to leftcenter. Mandarino then singled to center, scoring Farris for a 4-0 CU advantage.
The Bulldogs added a run in the fifth when Fanshawe drew a two-out walk and Harrison went to second on a wild pitch. He scored on Brandon King’s single through the rightside.
The Spartans only run of the game came in the sixth, with Carlos Ruiz drawing a leadoff walk. Todd Glime was then hit and Ryan Barban singled through the rightside, loading the bases. Jacob Greminder plated the run with a sacrifice fly down the leftfield line.
But Cumberland came back with two runs in the bottom of the inning, starting with a walk to Butler and a one-out single by Appleton. Richie Seaton singled to center, loading the bases, and one run scored on Mandarino’s sac fly. Cody Ferrell’s bases-loaded walk later in the inning forced in the final run of the game.