LEBANON, Tenn. – Belhaven scored four unearned runs on three errors and the 15th-ranked Blazers posted a 5-2 victory over No. 7 Cumberland on Thursday in baseball action at Smith-Wills Stadium in Jackson, Miss.
Belhaven (6-2) scored twice in the fifth and then two more times in the sixth, all unearned, against CU starter Keith Kirby and added a run in the eighth. The Bulldogs (2-2) managed just seven hits against three BU hurlers but stranded 12 runners, unable to take advantage of six walks.
Nick Sydnor and Daniel Harrison each drove in runs in a two-run third inning for CU, which also took advantage of a two-out error by the Blazers.
Kirby (1-1) scattered nine hits, did not walk a batter and struck out five in six innings to take the hard-luck loss. A dropped throw at first base after a strikeout started the first rally for Belhaven and a bunt single and then a fielding error at second base began the other.
Joshua Boldin went 4-for-4 for BU, including a two-strike, two-out, two-run single to rightcenter in the sixth that put the Blazers ahead for good.
Geoffrey Thomas allowed two runs on five hits, walked three and struck out seven in 5.2 innings for Belhaven. Jon Patino (1-0) worked 2.1 scoreless innings of relief for the win and Josh Clarke tossed one inning for his second save.
In the third inning Sam Lind reached on a throwing error by Bud Britt and Mike Mandarino followed with a single. Sydnor and Harrison had back-to-back RBI singles for a 2-0 CU advantage.
Kirby struck out Hamilton Harper with one out in the fifth but Mandarino dropped the throw to first. Bouldin then singled and Kirby induced a ground ball from Tyler Wrinkle, but he beat the relay throw to keep the inning alive.
With runners on the corners Anthony Doss singled to rightfield, scoring one run, and the throw to third got away from Harrison, allowing Wrinkle to tie the game at two.
Ryne Cook bunted his way on with one out in the Belhaven sixth before Lind booted a grounder near the bag that could have been a doubleplay. Jason Hicks loaded the bases with an infield single before Kirby struck out pinch-hitter Jonathan Thompson, but Bouldin laced an 0-2 pitch into rightcenter for a two-run single.
Wrinkle’s sacrifice fly in the eighth gave the Blazers a 5-2 lead.
Cumberland takes on sixth-ranked LSU-Shreveport at 11 a.m. on Friday and No. 21 Southern Poly at 11 a.m. on Saturday.