Baseball stays alive with 12-7 victory
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Baseball stays alive with 12-7 victory
Tyler Alford singled, doubled, walked and reached base four times in CU's 12-7 victory Tuesday over Freed-Hardeman. (Credit Steve Wampler)

JACKSON, Tenn. – Cumberland scored 12 runs in the first six innings and then held on for a 12-7 victory over 19th-ranked Freed-Hardeman in an elimination game here Tuesday in the TranSouth Championships.

With the victory the Bulldogs (31-25) advance to play at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday against a yet-to-be determined opponent. CU would have to win two games on Wednesday to reach the championship round on Thursday.

Antonio Butler and Richie Seaton each collected three hits for the Bulldogs, who pounded out 15 hits in the contest. Sam Lind drove in three runs and collected two hits, while Nick Sydnor and Tyler Alford both had two hits for CU. Alford’s pinch-runner, Ryan Critchelow, scored four times in the game, twice in wild pitches.

Chipper Smith (6-6) worked into the seventh to pick up the win on the mound despite some control problems. The lefthander allowed five runs on eight hits with six walks and four strikeouts.

Mitch Rainer worked an inning-plus of relief before Devin Stovall got the final five outs, including a line drive doubleplay with the bases loaded to end the eighth inning. He struck out the side in the ninth.

Roberto Ferguson (8-1) took the loss for FHU, giving up 10 runs, eight earned, on 11 hits in 5.2 innings. Charlie Overturf tossed the final 3.1 innings, allowing two unearned runs on four hits.

Cumberland led 12-3 in the contest after Lind’s two-run triple in the seventh, but one run scored on a passed ball and another on a Jesse Hykes double for the Lions (36-21) in the bottom of the inning.

In the eighth a walk and an error set up Robert Prieto, who doubled down the leftfield line for his third hit of the game and third and fourth RBIs. After another error and a walk, Joe Mike hammered a ball up the middle, but Lind picked it off head high near the second base bag and doubled off the runner to end the inning. Kyle Dearing also ended the FHU fourth inning by lining into a doubleplay up the middle as well.

The Bulldogs got on the board in the first after an infield single from Cory Urquhart. He went to second on a passed ball and scored on Mike Mandarino’s soft single to right for an early lead.

In the second Seaton reached on an infield single and with two outs Alford fisted a single into short left, putting runners on the corners. Butler then beat out an infield single, scoring a run, and the throw got away from Dearing at short, moving the runners up a base. Critchelow later scored on a wild pitch, giving CU a 3-0 edge.

FHU scored three times in the bottom of the inning thanks to some wildness from Smith, who walked Kirkland Wheeler and Dearing before an RBI single from Justin Mackey. After a wild pitch Prieto doubled to leftcenter, cutting the Bulldog lead to 5-3.

CU came back in the fourth after walks to Alford and Urquhart and a wild pitch from Ferguson. Lind reached on an error by the shortstop, allowing Critchelow to score for the second time in the game.

Alford led off the sixth with a double down the leftfield line and Critchelow went to third on Butler’s groundout and scored again on a wild pitch. Urquhart then walked and Lind lifted a high fly ball down the rightfield line that fell just short of the wall and fair for a double. Cody Ferrell plated both runners with a two-out single to right for a 10-3 CU lead.

Alford reached on a one-out error by Dearing in the seventh and Butler followed with a single to center. Lind tripled off the base of the centerfield wall with two outs, scoring two runs, giving the Bulldogs a 12-3 advantage.

Mackey collected his third hit of the game with a leadoff double for the Lions in the bottom of the inning. Prieto then singled and Mackey came across on a passed ball. Hykes then chopped a double over the third base bag, scoring Prieto, and Joe Mike walked, ending the day for Smith. Rainer induced a pair of ground balls to end the inning without any further damage.