LEBANON, Tenn. – Will Locante struck out 12 in a complete-game victory but No. 1 Cumberland committed eight errors in the second contest, splitting a doubleheader Saturday against Blue Mountain College in New Albany, Miss. The Bulldogs won the opener, 4-1, before falling in the second game, 7-4.
Cumberland (19-9, 6-3 TranSouth) won 2-of-3 in the weekend series, but ended a four-game winning streak with the loss.
Locante (2-2) allowed just two hits and one run in seven innings for the victory in the opener, tying a season-high with 12 strikeouts. The lefthander walked six, hit a batter and worked in-and-out of trouble the entire game, as the Toppers had at least one baserunner in six of the seven innings. He was named the Music City Star of the Game for his efforts.
BMC (9-16, 2-7) threatened in the seventh inning with the Bulldogs leading, 4-1, with Hunter Mize and Nate Bell walking to leadoff the inning, but Cody Roberts bounced into a fielder’s choice and Channing Walker grounded into a 5-4-3 game-ending doubleplay to end the game.
The Bulldogs scored three runs in the third inning on just one hit, with runs scoring on an error by Mize in centerfield as well as a sacrifice fly from Greg Appleton and an RBI single by Mike Mandarino.
BMC starter Blake Jolly allowed just two hits and two earned runs in seven innings of work but still suffered the loss, as the Toppers committed four errors in the contest. Jolly walked six and struck out six, working around trouble as well, as the Bulldogs had at least one baserunner in five of the seven innings.
In the second game Cumberland committed eight errors, giving up five unearned runs in the 7-4 defeat. The Bulldogs managed just seven hits in the game and nine in the twinbill, with T.J. Murphy the only player to record two hits in the two outings.
The Toppers scored four runs in the third inning to take an early lead, but the Bulldogs posted two runs in the fourth and sixth innings to tie the contest at four. Blue Mountain answered with three runs in the bottom of the sixth, all unearned, with the aid of three CU errors for the final margin.
Mize tossed the final three innings of the contest to pick up the victory, allowing two runs on three hits with three strikeouts. Walker started the contest for BMC, giving up two runs on four hits with four walks in four innings.
Matt Vance (2-1), the second of four Bulldog hurlers in the contest, took the loss, allowing an unearned run on two hits in 2.1 innings. Mandarino started the game for Cumberland, last 2.2 innings and giving up four runs on five hits.
The Toppers got on the board first in the opener with a run in the second inning. Ben Wallis walked to start the frame, stole second and third and scored on a two-out single from Roberts.
The Bulldogs pushed three runs across in the third with the aid of just one hit. Richie Seaton, Murphy and Tommy Winegardner all walked, loading the bases, and one run scored on an error by Mize in centerfield. Appleton plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Mandarino drove home the third run with a single down the leftfield line for a 3-1 advantage.
CU added another run in the sixth, with Tommy Crews reaching on an error by Bell at first base. David Fanshawe drew a walk before Seaton’s two-out single through the right side plated Crews for a 4-1 lead.
In the second game Blue Mountain scored four times in the third inning to take an early lead.
Ben Wallis reached on an error by Winegardner with one out and Dustin Lunn followed with a single before an RBI single by Sam Summerford. Corey Adams then doubled down the leftfield line, plating both runners. BJ Johnson reached on a fielder’s choice and Cody Brownlee singled, loading the bases, setting up a walk by Michael Collie, forcing in the final run of the inning.
The Bulldogs got two runs back in the fourth, starting with a Fanshawe walk and an RBI double from Crews, who moved to third on the throw to the plate. Antonio Butler’s groundout plated Crews, cutting the deficit to 4-2.
Cumberland loaded the bases in the fifth with walks to Cory Farris, Appleton and Fanshawe, but Mandarino popped out to right and Crews fouled out to left to end the threat.
In the sixth Butler singled, stole second and scored on Murphy’s triple to rightfield. Murphy scored on a sacrifice fly by Farris, tying the contest at four.
But the lead was short-lived, as Blue Mountain scored three times in the bottom of the inning.
Wallis was hit to leadoff the inning, chasing Vance from the contest in favor of Winegardner. Lunn reached on an error by Crews before an RBI single from Walker. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch and Lunn came across on a single by Adams. Walker later scored on a failed pickoff attempt by Winegardner for the final run for the Toppers.
Cumberland plays sixth-ranked Embry-Riddle at 2:30 p.m. on Monday and 1 p.m. on Tuesday and will host Campbellsville University at 6 p.m. on Tuesday at Veterans Field in Lebanon.