Winegardner's big day leads CU to 6-5 victory
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Winegardner's big day leads CU to 6-5 victory
Tommy Winegardner collected two hits and two RBIs and also picked up a save in CU's 6-5 victory Sunday at Texas Wesleyan. (Credit Steve Wampler)

LEBANON, Tenn. – Tommy Winegardner’s two-run double and Greg Appleton’s RBI single put top-ranked Cumberland ahead to stay and Christian Jennings tossed 2.1 innings of relief to pick up the win and Winegardner collected the save in a 6-5 victory over Texas Wesleyan on Sunday in Fort Worth, Texas.

The Bulldogs (13-3) moved to 4-0 on its current eight-game road trip, which continues Monday with a 3 p.m. matchup and a second meeting with the Rams (10-8).

Cumberland scored early on a Mike Mandarino single, plating Winegardner, and moved ahead 2-0 thanks to a pair of TWU errors in the third. The home team tied the contest in the bottom of the third and scored twice in the fifth to take a 4-2 advantage.

But a three-run sixth inning put the Bulldogs on top to stay, with Tommy Crews and T.J. Murphy both singling and Antonio Butler drawing a walk to set up Winegardner’s two-run double down the leftfield line and Appleton’s RBI single to right.

Texas Wesleyan scored once in the seventh, but Seaton threw out the tying run at the plate to end the inning. Winegardner tossed two hitless innings for his second save, working around errors in the eighth and ninth and striking out.

Winegardner collected two hits and Butler scored twice for the Bulldogs, who were out-hit, 11-7, in the contest. The teams combined to strand 17 runners in the game, nine by the Rams.

Jennings (2-0) got the final out of the fifth and was helped out by Seaton’s play at the plate to end the seventh. The lefthander allowed three hits, walked one and struck out two. Bulldog starter Matt Vance gave four runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings, walking two and striking out four.

TWU starter Derek Vaughan (2-1) suffered the loss, working six-plus innings and allowed all six runs, five earned, on seven hits with four walks and four strikeouts.

Cumberland got on the board with a run in the first after Winegardner singled to leadoff and Cory Farris was hit with one out. Mandarino’s RBI single through the leftside gave the Bulldogs an early 1-0 advantage.

CU plated a run in the third thanks to a pair of Rams errors.

Butler reached on a miscue by TWU third baseman Joseph Lassiter. Butler stole second and moved to third on a groundout from Appleton. First baseman Justin Padron booted Farris’ ground ball, allowing Butler to come across for a 2-0 edge.

The Rams tied the game in the bottom of the inning, starting with a leadoff walk to Vincent Winter and a single from Lassiter. Eric Epperson reached on an infield single and Winter scored on a throwing error on the play. Taylor Jockers’ groundout plated another run to knot the game at two.

TWU took the lead with two more runs in the fifth, chasing Vance from the contest.

Lassiter singled to leadoff and moved to second on a wild pitch. Epperson then singled, putting runners on the corners, and he stole second. Jockers scored Lassiter with a sacrifice fly and Epperson came across on a wild pitch for a 4-2 Rams lead.

But the Bulldogs came right back with three runs in the sixth, starting with a leadoff single from Crews. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Seaton and Murphy followed with a single. Butler drew an eight-pitch walk, loading the bases, before a two-run double from Winegardner and an RBI single by Appleton gave CU a 6-4 advantage.

In the seventh TWU pinch-hitter Matt Taylor singled with one out and Epperson followed with a double. Jockers walked to load the bases and after a strikeout, Hunter Robinson singled through the leftside. Taylor scored on the play, but Epperson was thrown out at the plate to end the inning, preserving the Bulldogs 6-5 lead.

Christian Soberanes reached on an error to start the eighth for the Rams, but Justin Snider’s bunt was fielded by Winegardner, who got the lead runner at second. Pinch-runner Patrick Melton was then thrown out trying to steal second by David Fanshawe.

In the ninth Lassiter reached on an error by Murphy to leadoff, but a strikeout and a sacrifice left everything up to Jockers, who flied out to end the contest.