LEBANON, Tenn. – Aaron Wilkerson and Will Locante both picked up complete-game victories and Greg Appleton collected three hits and four RBIs in the second game, as No. 1 Cumberland avoided the rain and swept a doubleheader over Ottawa University, 5-0 and 9-2, Saturday at Ernest L. Stockton Field.
Wilkerson (6-0) stretched his scoreless innings streak to 41.1 innings with seven shutout frames. The righthander allowed just four hits, walked two and struck out six, winning his 20th consecutive decision dating to February of last season. He was named the Music City Star of the Game for his efforts.
Only six baserunners reached against Wilkerson and only once did the Braves have two baserunners in an inning – singles from Josh Ragsdale and Jeff Montenegro in the fifth.
Locante (3-2) tossed seven strong innings in the second game, striking out 10 and giving up two runs and seven hits. The lefthander walked two and recorded his third double-digit strikeout effort of the season.
Cumberland (23-11) scratched across its first three runs in the opening game, two on a double from Mike Mandarino in the fourth inning and another on a groundout by Appleton in the fifth. Ottawa (10-15) committed three errors in the sixth to help the Bulldogs score two more runs.
In the second game Richie Seaton’s sacrifice fly and Appleton’s RBI single in the second game Cumberland an early lead. Appleton added a three-run homer in the fourth, his fifth of the season.
Ottawa scored twice in the fifth on RBI singles from Kyle Pener and Spenser Augustine, but threatened only one other time, loading the bases in the seventh before Locante struck out pinch-hitter Ryan Bontrager to end the contest.
Ottawa starter Gustavo Sanchez (2-3) did a more-than-adequate job on the mound in the opener, giving up three earned runs on six hits in six innings. The lefthander walked three and struck out one, getting eight ground ball outs.
In the second game freshman Jake Kolenda (2-2) lasted three-plus innings, exiting after Appleton’s homer. The righthander allowed five runs on six hits, walking four.
The Bulldogs got on the board in the fourth inning in the opening game, with Cory Farris singling to leadoff and Appleton drawing a walk before Mandarino belted a two-run double down the leftfield line.
The Braves threatened in the fifth with singles from Ragsdale and Montenegro, but pinch-runner Jordan Jobes was picked off at second to end the inning with CU still leading, 2-0.
Cumberland added a run in the fifth after Seaton singled to leadoff, Tommy Winegardner walked and Farris was hit, loading the bases. Appleton’s groundout plated a run for a 3-0 CU advantage.
The Bulldogs pushed across two more runs in the sixth thanks to three Ottawa errors.
Tommy Crews singled to leadoff and Jesse Bowman reached on a fielding error by Augustine at shortstop. David Fanshawe bounced to third and Edgar Fileto stepped on the bag for the first out, but his throw to first was high and first baseman Allan Bleich took a tumble chasing the ball, allowing Bowman to score on the play.
Seaton then bunted his way on before Murphy popped to short center, but Augustine dropped the ball and pinch-runner Antonio Butler scored for a 5-0 lead.
In the second game the Bulldogs scored twice in the second inning to take an early lead.
Crews and Murphy both singled and Fanshawe drew a walk to start the inning. Seaton’s sacrifice fly plated one run and Appleton’s two-out single through the leftside made it 2-0 CU.
Appleton helped the Bulldogs take a 5-0 lead in the fourth, chasing Kolenda from the contest. Bowman and Seaton both walked to start the inning before Appleton hit his fifth home run of the season over the wall in left.
The Braves plated their first runs of the day in the fifth inning, with Sam Engle singling to start the inning and moving up on a wild pitch. Bleich walked with one out before an RBI single to center from Pener.
Greg Wisner also singled, loading the bases, and Augustine’s single to right scored Jobes, cutting the Bulldog lead to 5-2.
But Cumberland answered with two unearned runs in the bottom of the inning, starting with a one-out single from Murphy. Bowman reached on a throwing error with two outs, sliding into first base to avoid the tag from Bleich.
Murphy scored on a balk and Seaton’s two-out single to rightcenter scored Bowman for a 7-2 Bulldog advantage.
In the sixth Crews doubled with two outs and Murphy walked before an infield single from Fanshawe and a two-run double by Bowman plated the final two runs of the contest.
Cumberland hosts Georgetown College in a doubleheader Wednesday at 1 p.m. and will take on TranSouth Conference-leading Union University next weekend in a three-game series.