COLUMBIA, Ky. – Kevin P. Greene scattered seven hits in seven innings of relief and Ricky Coleman collected three hits and drove in five runs, as Cumberland rallied twice in the game in a 10-7 victory over host Lindsey Wilson in the first game of the Mid-South Conference Championships here Sunday at Egnew Park.
The Bulldogs (37-17) advance to a 1 p.m. contest on Monday and will face the winner of Sunday’s second game between St. Catharine College and Bluefield College.
Coleman hit a two-run homer in the second inning, had an RBI double in the fourth and then a two-run double in the eighth that plated the go-ahead runs. He also scored three times in the contest, helping CU overcome 2-0 and 7-3 deficits after the first two innings.
Greene (7-1) worked around the seven hits as well as two walks but only two Lindsey Wilson (26-28) runners reached third base. The righthander retired the side in order just once but did exactly what the Bulldogs needed, keeping the game in reach so his club to make a comeback. He struck out three for just his second victory since March 25.
Sam Lind and Richie Seaton each added three hits and Seaton scored three times, including the game-winning run in the eighth inning on Coleman’s double. Chris Hall scored twice and Justin Byrd drove in two runs as well for the Bulldogs.
Trey Davis finished with three hits and two RBIs for the Blue Raiders, who play again Sunday against the loser of Sunday’s second game. Mitchel Osnowitz hit a two-run homer in the first inning and Derek Shugart posted two hits but lined out to centerfield with two runners on base to end the contest.
Neither starter factored into the decision, with CU’s Anthony Gomez lasting just two innings, allowing seven runs, two earned, on six hits with three walks and four strikeouts. LWC’s England Smith gave up seven runs on eight hits in five innings, walking four with two strikeouts.
Jason Turner (6-5) suffered the loss for Lindsey Wilson, allowing three runs on four hits in three innings of work.
Shugart dumped a single into short right with one out in the top of the first for LWC before Osnowitz belted a hanging curveball over the wall in leftcenter, his 13th of the season, for an early lead by the home team (though the visitors in the game).
The Bulldogs responded with three runs in their half of the inning, taking advantage of an error after Hall was hit to start the frame. Coleman grounded sharply to short for what looked to be a tailor-made doubleplay, but the flip from Mark Silva to Michael Rosario went right through the second baseman’s hands and everyone was safe.
Lind’s grounder to the right side was just enough in the hole for him to beat the throw from first baseman Jordan Berry to Smith, loading the bases. Hall scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Josciel Veras and after a one-out walk to Brady North, Byrd hit the first pitch over the first baseman’s head for a two-run single, putting CU ahead, 3-2, after an inning.
Lindsey Wilson answered with five runs in the second, though, all unearned, starting with a bunt single by Silva. Russ Morse bunted, getting the ball down with two strikes, and he and North ran into each other in the base line, with the ball, the runner and the fielder getting there all at the same time.
The ball bounced out of the glove of North and most of the way to the dugout, allowing the runners to move to second and third. Gomez struck out the next two batters and Osnowitz was intentionally walked, loading the bases, before Andino’s chopper to first was bobbled by North, allowing a run to score.
Alex Bautista then ripped a ground rule double down the leftfield line, scoring a pair, and after another free pass, this one to Berry, Davis drove a single up the middle, plating two more runs for a 7-3 LWC advantage.
Cumberland came right back in the top of the second, with Seaton hit by the pitch to leadoff before Coleman drilled a first-pitch fastball over the wall in leftcenter with two outs, his fourth of the year, cutting the deficit to 7-5.
Seaton scored again in the fourth after leading off with a single to center and moving to second on Tyler Alford’s sac bunt. Coleman drilled a two-out double over the head of Andino in centerfield, making it a 7-6 lead for the Blue Raiders.
LWC nearly expanded the lead in the fifth when Morse led off with a single and Shugart walked with two outs and stole second, but Andino’s hot-shot up the middle was backhanded by Lind, who completed the play with a strong throw to first.
The Bulldogs pulled even in the bottom of the inning thanks to some wildness from Smith, who walked Veras and North to start the inning, but Byrd bounced into a 6-4-3 doubleplay. Tyler Anderson came through though, reaching on an infield single to the leftside, with Veras coming across again and knotting the score at seven.
Turner retired the first seven batters he faced before Seaton led off the eighth with a single to center. Alford’s bunt pushed the runner to second again and Hall followed with a single to center. Andino’s throw to the plate sailed well high, allowing Hall to take second on the play.
Coleman then laced a double into rightcenter, just out of the reach of a diving Andino, scoring both runners, and Lind followed with a long triple to center, with Andino crashing into the wall and unable to track down the fly ball, giving the Bulldogs a 10-7 advantage.
The Blue Raiders threatened in the bottom of the inning, with Davis starting the frame with a looper into rightcenter, and pinch-hitter Jacob Roberts singled down the rightfield line with two outs, putting runners on the corners. But Shugart lined the 2-1 pitch to Byrd in centerfield for the final out.