LEBANON, Tenn. – Cumberland gave up nine runs in the sixth inning to lose the opener and allowed five early runs in the second game, as the No. 1 Bulldogs dropped a doubleheader Tuesday at Northwood University, 15-7 and 5-4, in Cedar Hill, Texas.
The losses snapped a five-game winning streak for Cumberland (14-5) on its current eight-game road trip. CU concludes the trip Wednesday at 13th-ranked LSU-Shreveport at 4 p.m. The Bulldogs host rival Trevecca Nazarene in a weekend series starting Friday at 2 p.m.
Cumberland scored five runs in the fifth inning to take a 7-6 lead in the seesaw opening game, only to see the Knights (20-5) capitalize on two Bulldog errors to plate nine runs on just five hits in the sixth and take a 15-7 victory.
Mike Mandarino hit a pair of homers and drove in five runs in the loss, while Greg Appleton, Tommy Crews and Jesse Coe each added a pair of hits for CU.
Keith Kirby (2-1), the third of four Bulldog hurlers in the contest, suffered the loss, allowing three earned runs on four hits in 1.1 innings.
Northwood’s Corey Sartor (1-1), the last of three Knights pitchers, picked up the victory, tossing 2.1 scoreless innings and giving up just one hit.
In the second game the Bulldogs scored a run in the first with a double from Tommy Winegardner and a single by Appleton, but Northwood answered with two runs in the first and three more in the second against CU starter Devin Stovall. He (0-1) took the loss in his first start of the year, allowing five runs on five hits with four walks in 2.2 innings.
Relievers Pat Corrigan and Winegardner held the Knights without a run over the final 3.1 innings, but the Bulldogs left the bases loaded in the sixth and went down in order in the seventh.
Northwood starter Edgar Valle (2-1) gave up two runs on three hits with four strikeouts in three innings, while Garrett Randle picked up his first save, getting the final five outs, including three strikeouts.
Appleton added two more hits in the second game for the Bulldogs, while Antonio Butler drove in a pair of runs.
The Knights plated a run in the first inning of the opener for an early advantage.
Leadoff hitter Edwin Arroyo singled to center and went to second on an error by Butler. Will Fontnow followed with a walk and Arroyo stole third before scoring on Nico Taylor’s sacrifice fly.
Fontnow moved to second on a wild pitch and tried to score on Adam Humes’ single to center, but Butler gunned him down at the plate to end the inning.
The Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead in the third when Appleton singled with one out and Mandarino belted a two-run homer to leftfield, his fourth home run of the season.
But Northwood answered in the bottom of the inning, with Fontnow reaching on an error by Winegardner before Taylor ripped a two-run shot to left. Johnny Aldaz and Humes followed with singles and JP Cazares doubled home a run, chasing Bulldog starter Daniel Kern from the contest.
Reliever Christian Jennings walked the first batter he faced but induced an inning-ending doubleplay, keeping the Knights lead at 4-2.
Arroyo walked with one out in the Northwood fourth and Fontnow followed with an RBI triple. Humes plated the sixth run of the game for the Knights with a two-out infield single and a four-run lead for the home team.
The Bulldogs exploded for five runs in the fifth, with the first five batters reaching base safely to take the lead.
T.J. Murphy beat out a bunt single to start the inning and Winegardner followed with a two-run homer to left, his second home run in as many games. Appleton and Cory Farris both singled, setting up Mandarino’s second round-tripper of the contest, this one a three-run shot to right for a 7-6 Cumberland edge.
But it was short-lived, as Northwood added nine runs in the sixth to take a commanding lead.
Taylor doubled with one out and scored on an Aldaz single to tie the contest at seven. Humes then walked and both runners moved up on a wild pitch. Cazares reached on Winegardner’s second error of the game, allowing one run to score, before an RBI double to left from David Leonard gave the home team a 9-7 advantage.
Pinch-hitter Garrett Yates walked and Kal Saldana plated a run with a sacrifice fly. Arroyo reached on an error by Murphy, plating Leonard, and Fontnow pushed across two more runs with a double. Taylor put an exclamation point on the inning for Northwood with a two-run homer for a 15-7 lead.
In the second game Fontnow walked and Taylor followed with a double before a sacrifice fly from Aldaz. Taylor later scored after a wild pitch and a throwing error by Farris, who caught the doubleheader after David Fanshawe left Monday’s game with an injury.
The Knight scored three more times in the third, starting with a single from Fontnow and a walk to Taylor. Aldaz sacrificed both runners up a base and Humes plated both with a double down the rightfield line. Humes was thrown out at third on the play.
Later in the inning Leonard walked and Cazares singled before an RBI infield single from Isaac Maturina gave the home team a 5-1 edge.
Butler helped the Bulldogs get on the board in the fifth, drawing a leadoff walk and stealing second and third. He scored on Appleton’s two-out single up the middle, cutting the deficit to 5-2.
In the sixth reached on a fielding error by Maturino and Richie Seaton walked with one out. Jesse Coe was hit, loading the bases, and Butler plated two runs with a single through the rightside. But pinch-hitter Cody Ferrell struck out and after a walk to Winegardner, Appleton struck out to end the threat.