LEBANON, Tenn. – Jared Schmidt and Bo Saunders each posted two hits and Cumberland scored four times in the ninth but left the bases loaded to end the game, with Schmidt’s line drive the final out in a 7-6 loss at 15th-ranked Bryan College on Thursday in Dayton, Tenn.
The Phoenix (1-4) managed just six baserunners in the first eight innings against Bryan starter Ernesto Romero, who struck out 10 and gave up two runs. The Lions (7-2) plated single runs in the first, second, third, sixth and eighth innings and two in the seventh and were led offensively by Tyler Scott, who collected two hits with one RBI and scored twice along with a 2-for-4 effort with two RBIs from Lake Burris.
Cumberland trailed 7-2 headed to the ninth but cut the deficit to three quickly with a single from Schmidt and a two-run homer by Jose Vera to start the frame. With two outs pinch-hitter Kyle Blackwell reached on an error and Peyton Wheatley got on base via catcher’s interference.
Saunders then walked, loading the bases, forcing a pitching change by the Lions, but Dalton Ross issued free passes to Kameron Armstrong and Eddie McDaniels, forcing in runs and making it 7-6. Schmidt lined out to right to end the contest for CU’s third straight defeat.
Blake Young (0-3) suffered his third straight loss for the Phoenix, allowing five earned runs on nine hits in 6.1 innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out five.
Romero (1-0) picked up the win for Bryan and Ross got the save despite the two walks in the ninth.
Cumberland got a run in the first when Armstrong led off with a single and stole second and third. He came across on a sacrifice fly from Schmidt for a 1-0 CU edge after a half inning.
The Lions answered in the bottom of the frame after a leadoff double by Scott, who took third on a fly ball to right from Gabe Howell. Burris then singled up the middle, driving in the run to even the contest.
In the second David Scoggins started the inning with a double and went to third when Marcus Catalano reached on an error, putting runners on the corners. Tucker Cain flied out to center, plating the run, but the Phoenix doubled off Catalano on the play to end the inning.
Young settled down from the third to the sixth, retiring 11 of the 14 batters he faced but giving up solo homers to Howell in the third and Burris in the sixth. Wade Weinburger also singled in the fourth but was caught trying to steal third.
Saunders singled and reached second in the third and sixth innings, the only Phoenix players to get into scoring position from the run in the first. LaDarius Williams made it 4-2 with a solo homer in the seventh for Cumberland, but the Lions answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Andres Cabreja doubled with one out and Catalano followed with an RBI triple. Cain then singled to left, pushing across another run and ending the day for Young.
Scott’s leadoff solo homer in the eighth against CU reliever Caleb Cox proved to be the game-winner.
Cumberland hosts Madonna University in a four-game series this Saturday and Sunday at Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium. Saturday’s doubleheader begins at Noon and Sunday’s twinbill starts at 12:30 p.m.