LEBANON, Tenn. – Jesse Bowman and T.J. Murphy each collected three hits, but Steve Sabins, Chris Page and Ian MacGeorge each homered for sixth-ranked Embry-Riddle, as the Eagles held on to defeat No. 1 Cumberland, 11-9, Tuesday afternoon at Ernest L. Stockton Field.
Cumberland (19-11) plays again Tuesday at 6 p.m. versus Campbellsville University at Veterans Field in Lebanon.
Bowman hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot in the seventh inning, and Tommy Crews added a two-run homer for the Bulldogs, who lost their third straight contest, including a two-game series against the Eagles (26-7). For his efforts Bowman was named the Music City Star of the Game.
Cumberland outhit ERAU, 16-14, in the contest but stranded 10 runners on base, including two each in the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings.
Murphy hit a bases-clearing double in the ninth inning to pull CU within 11-9, but Tucker Jensen came on to get the final out of the game for his first save.
ERAU starter Ryan Vigue (8-1) tossed 6.1 innings, allowing six runs on nine hits to pick up the victory. Reliever Steve Ortman gave up three unearned runs before giving way to Jensen for the final batter of the contest.
Bulldog starter Logan Neal (0-2) ran into trouble in the middle innings after allowing just one run through three innings. The Eagles scored three times in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to take a commanding lead.
Neal allowed seven runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings, while reliever Matt McFarland gave up four runs in six hits with five walks in 4.2 innings.
Tommy Winegardner, Mike Mandarino and Antonio Butler all collected two hits for the Bulldogs, as did Crews. Page led the Eagles with three hits, while MacGeorge drove in five runs and Keaton Stroud added three hits for ERAU.
The Eagles plated an unearned run in the third to take an early lead.
Aaron Glaum reached on a throwing error by Crews and Greg Smith singled down the leftfield line with one out. J.T. Warmoth’s sacrifice fly gave ERAU a 1-0 lead.
The visitors added three more runs in the fourth with back-to-back singles from Ben Kline and Stroud before MacGeorge lined a three-run homer off the netting in front of the scoreboard.
Sabins reached on another error by Crews to start the fifth inning and Page followed with his third home run in two days, a two-run shot to rightfield. Kline was then hit and Stroud doubled to rightcenter before a sacrifice fly by MacGeorge gave Embry-Riddle a 7-0 advantage.
Cumberland loaded the bases in the bottom of the inning with singles from Crews and Butler and a walk to Murphy. Winegardner plated a run with a sacrifice fly, but the Bulldogs were unable to score anymore, grounding out and striking out to end the inning.
ERAU scored three more runs in the sixth, including a solo homer from Sabins. Page then doubled and Kline and Stroud had consecutive singles before another sac fly by MacGregor gave the Eagles a 10-1 lead.
The Bulldogs answered with two runs in the bottom of the frame, starting with a leadoff single from Mandarino. Crews hit a two-run homer to rightcenter, cutting the deficit to 10-3.
Cumberland added three more runs in the seventh with back-to-back singles by Murphy and Winegardner to leadoff the inning before Bowman hit his first home run of the year over the wall in rightcenter, making it 10-6 Eagles.
The Bulldogs threatened again in the eighth, with Murphy and Bowman both singling, but Greg Appleton’s fly ball to deep leftcenter was caught by Glaum as he slammed into the wall, keeping CU off the board.
In the ninth Mandarino reached on an error before Ben Foster and Butler both singled. Murphy then drove a double into rightcenter, clearing the bases and chasing Ortman, but Jensen struck out Winegardner to end the contest.
Cumberland plays at Lindsey Wilson at 4 p.m. Wednesday and will host Ottawa University in a doubleheader Saturday at Noon.