March 01, 2022123456789RHE
Win: R. Pittman (1-1) 1.011
Loss: P. Miller (0-1) 1.133321
J. Lail (MILLIGAN) 303010
J. Hanna (CUMBERLA) 613300
T. Hughes (CUMBERLA) 403110
Baseball rallies for a ninth inning comeback
Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Baseball rallies for a ninth inning comeback
Jayden Hanna sent the Phoenix home with a win after hitting a walk off single today. (Credit: Bob Tamboli)

LEBANON, Tenn.-- Cumberland baseball trailed by two runs heading into the bottom of the ninth where they rallied back to win 8-7 over Milligan University.

Cumberland (7-14, 1-1 MSC) made solid contact all day tallying 12 hits in the game. Jayden Hanna picked up three hits on the day while driving in three runs and Tyner Hughes collected three hits with a big RBI in the sixth.

Jack Webb got the start for the Phoenix in a game where six pitchers were used. Webb completed two innings of work only allowing one run on a solo home run to right in the second inning of the game.

Trevor Muzzi entered the game out of the pen in the top of the third giving up a double and a single to start the inning. Muzzi picked up a big strikeout for the first out of the inning to help settle some of the pressure. The next batter grounded into an RBI fielder's choice for a 2-0 lead but on the same play, Machibroda was able to gun a Milligan runner out at the plate trying to take an extra-base to end the inning. 

The Buffaloes extended their lead in the top of the fifth after a walk and double put runners on second and third to start the inning. Back-to-back RBI fielder's choices gave Milligan a 4-0 lead at the end of the fifth.

Cumberland finally struck big in the bottom of the sixth when Machibroda hit a tape-measure home run to right field to lead off the inning. Mendoza reached on a bunt single and advanced to third on an error by the pitcher. Ethan Shelton brought home Mendoza from third with a ground ball to shortstop bringing the score to 4-2. Later in the inning, Hanna doubled down the right-field line to bring home Bass from second. Hughes came up to the plate with two on and two out when he singled through the left side to score Hanna from second to tie the game at 4-4.

Machibroda leadoff the seventh with a walk and stole second base to give the Phoenix a runner in scoring position. Jordan Coffey got a pinch-hit opportunity and took advantage of it by sending a two-out double into the left-center gap giving Cumberland a 5-4 lead.

The Buffaloes responded the very next inning by putting three runs on the board with only one hit in the inning to take a 7-5 lead.

Rance Pittman went on in relief for the Phoenix in the top of the ninth. The first runner reached on a throwing error by Hughes and the second hitter singled to third. Pittman worked a 3-2 count to Hall and forced a check swing that was ruled ball four. Head coach Ryan Hunt went out to argue the call and was ejected from the game, firing up the Cumberland players in the process. Pittman responded by getting three straight outs without allowing a single run to cross the plate shifting all the momentum in Cumberland's favor.

Mendoza came up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth and worked a leadoff walk. Shelton came up next and hit a high chopper over the third baseman's head for a single. A wild pitch moved both runners up to second and third with no outs in the inning with Brett Bello at the plate. Bello walked to load the bases and Silas Butler hit a sac fly to center field advancing all runners and cutting the deficit to 7-6. Hanna stepped up to the plate with one out and runners on second and third when he hit a single up the middle, driving in both runs for an 8-7 walk-off win.

Cumberland will be on the road Friday for their second conference series of the year as they take on Shawnee State University.