February 08, 20201234567RHE
Cumberland Univ1001000292
Josh Morgan (CU) 413100
Kody Kolb (LSUS) 312000
Phoenix suffer sweep at #12 LSU-Shreveport
Saturday, February 8, 2020
Phoenix suffer sweep at #12 LSU-Shreveport

STERLINGTON, La.--The Phoenix dropped both games against 12th-ranked LSU-Shreveport today, giving the Pilots the series sweep on the opening weekend of play for the baseball team.

Cumberland (0-4) struggled against the offensive firepower of No.12 LSU-Shreveport (7-0) again today, the Pilots hitting two grand slams on the day, both off the bat of their centerfielder Kyle Jones. Cumberland did a better job at keeping the Pilot base runners in check only allowing seven stolen bases between the games, while picking off two of the runners.

Game One

Junior pitcher Nick Hoefling (0-1) got the start on the mound, pitching 5.1 innings and collecting five strikeouts and walks on his 93 pitches. He made quick work of the Pilots through the first, but a second inning grand slam led to him giving up five earned runs while pitching. Jordan Burdette relieved Hoefling in the sixth, picking up the final two outs of the inning.

Kevin Miranda (1-0) earned the start and win for LSU-Shreveport as the Pilots worked in three different pitchers in the seven inning game. Miranda pitched four full innings, putting together six strikeouts on only 47 pitches.

Left fielder Josh Morgan played a great all-around game for Cumberland, going 3-for-4 from the plate with a RBI and then, on defense, made an awesome play at the left field wall to steal a homerun from the Pilots.

The Phoenix struck first offensively, taking a 1-0 lead in the first. The first batter, Tyler Stokes, made it on base with a walk and was then advanced into scoring position by a Jose Vera single to center. With two outs, Josh Morgan pulled the trigger on the first pitch, hitting a single into shallow center to score Stokes.

The game’s momentum completely swung in favor of the home team in the second, Cumberland failing to do anything offensively which LSUS responded to with five runs in the bottom of the second to take a 5-1 lead. Four of the Pilots runs came off the bat of the ninth man in their lineup, getting a ball up into the wind which pushed it out far enough for a grand slam.

The next Cumberland run came in the fourth inning off the bat of Chandler Hughes, smashing the first pitch into deep left center for a double, bringing Morgan home to cut the LSUS advantage to 5-2. In the next inning, the Phoenix found themselves in position to maybe take back the lead with the bases loaded and a single out. A strikeout and groundout to third quickly ended the threat.

Two walks among the first three batters of the sixth inning brought Coach Hunt out to make a change at the mound, Jordan Burdette coming in to finish the seven inning game. A single just under the glove of the Vera scored the runner on second, and setting the final score of the first contest.

Game Two

Seth Wyse (0-1) started the second game, allowing five earned runs in 5.1 innings of play on his way to a loss despite collecting a solid five strikeouts. Wyse did a good job of minimizing scoring chances for LSUS through five innings, but two hits and a walk saw the bases loaded with only one out in the sixth. Burdette earned a single run in 0.2 innings of play, Christian Straub pitched for 1.2 giving up four runs, and Matt Risko ended the game, playing 0.0 innings but giving up four runs on a walk off grand slam.

For LSUS, Andrew Lowe (2-0) had an excellent outing, playing 6.0 innings in which he did not allow a single earned run and put together seven strikeouts. Ross Capone (1.1 innings, 1 earned run) and Josh Fortenberry (0.2 innings, 0 earned runs) came in relief to finish the game.

Cumberland again struck first in game two. With a runner on second and two outs, Vera chopped a ball to third where the baseman committed an error on the throw to score Maldonado from second. Wyse made sure that the Pilots would not put up any runs in the bottom of the first, picking off a runner and then collecting the third out with a K.

Mykel Gordon hit a double down the left field line to open the fourth, but three-straight quick outs ended hopes of adding to Cumberland’s 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, a two run homer over the centerfield wall, saw LSUS grab the advantage, 2-1.

In the sixth inning, the Phoenix found themselves in position to take the lead in what was a low scoring, defensive game to that point, bases loaded with only one out. A pop up to second and strikeout ended the scoring threat. The Pilots found themselves in the same spot in the bottom of the inning, but capitalized on the opportunity to expand the lead to 6-1.

With one out in the eighth, Vera hit a long double into center field which Gordon followed up with a single up the middle to drive Vera home and cut into the lead, 6-2. Hughes struck a single into shallow left, but a ground out and strikeout ended the top of the sixth. In the bottom of the eighth, the Pilots put up eight runs, the final four coming on a walk off grand slam to win the game 14-2.

The Phoenix return to action next weekend, facing Madonna at 11 a.m., Friday within the friendly confines of Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.