LEBANON, Tenn. – Chipper Smith tossed the program’s first no-hitter since 2004, striking out 14 batters and helping seventh-ranked Cumberland to a doubleheader split against Point Park University on Saturday at Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.
The lefthander struck out 14 batters and allowed just two baserunners – a walk and a hit batter – both in the sixth inning after retiring the first 15 hitters for the Pioneers (2-2). Smith (2-2) struck out the final batter of that inning and added two more punchouts in the seventh inning, including the final one of the game, for the first no-no since Jared Garsnick against Freed-Hardeman on April 24, 2004.
Sam Lind and Mike Mandarino each had two-run doubles and Josh McGee added a run-scoring single in the 5-0 victory for the Bulldogs (7-5), who were playing their first games in eight days. CU dropped the first game, 3-2, in eight innings, with CU giving up a pair of unearned runs in the final inning and wasting an outstanding start from Keith Kirby.
The Bulldog senior allowed four hits and an unearned run in seven innings in the opener, but got no decision, as the game headed to extra innings tied at one. Kirby walked two and struck out two. Devin Stovall (1-1) was tagged with the loss, giving up two hits with one walk in one inning of relief.
Mandarino and Lind both collected four hits in the doubleheader and the pair drove in six of CU’s seven runs on the day. The pitching staff did not allow an earned run in the twinbill and gave up just six hits with 16 strikeouts.
The Pioneers struck first in the opener, with Steve Dujka beating out an infield single and moving to second on a throwing error. Tom Paskinski singled to left with one out and Dujka scored on an error by leftfielder Nick Sydnor.
The Bulldogs tied the game in the sixth when Antonio Butler singled to leadoff, stole second and scored on Lind’s one-out single through the rightside.
In the eighth Dujka drew a leadoff walk and Pasinski reached on another fielding error by Sydnor. Tom Birko’s single to left plated pinch-runner Phil Navatsyk and Pasinski later scored on a wild pitch for a 3-1 Pioneers advantage.
The Bulldogs got one run back in the bottom of the inning, with Cory Urquhart singling with one out and moving all the way to third on a failed pickoff attempt. Lind singled home Urquhart and Mandarino singled with two outs, but McGee bounced into a fielder’s choice to end the game.
PPU starter Sean Clark tossed six innings, allowing four hits and one run with five strikeouts. Mike Tullio (1-0) got the win with two innings of relief, giving up four hits and a walk.
In the second game Lind walked and Mandarino and McGee both singled for a 1-0 CU lead after an inning.
The Bulldogs added two more runs in the second when Richie Seaton drew a two-out walk and stole second. Urquhart followed with a walk before Lind’s two-run double to left for a 3-0 edge.
Cumberland got two more runs in the fourth, starting when Urquhart reached on an error. Sydnor then walked and Mandarino plated both runners with a double down the leftfield line.
Ben Rodriguez (0-1) took the loss for the Pioneers, allowing one run on two hits in 1.2 innings. Reliever Isaiah Marsh worked 4.1 innings, giving up two earned runs on four hits with three walks and two strikeouts.
Cumberland begins a nine-game road swing Wednesday at 18th-ranked Tennessee Wesleyan at 1 p.m. CT.