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CU goes 3-2 in Alabama

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CUMBERLAND BASEBALL

MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Sam Kikla went 4-for-8 with five runs scored and five RBIs and Eric Mull drove in four runs, helping 11th-ranked Cumberland split a doubleheader at 18th-ranked Auburn-Montgomery Sunday.

The Bulldogs (3-2) dropped the opener, 12-6, but Lebanon’s Christian Jennings tossed the final two innings to post the save in a 7-6 game two triumph for CU.

Kikla was 3-for-5 with three runs scored and four RBIs in the opener, including a pair of home runs. The Malabar, Fla., native scored twice and drove in another run in the second contest.

Auburn-Montgomery (7-4) scored eight runs in the second inning in the first game to take control in a 12-6 victory. The Senators had the tying run on third in the third and sixth innings and had the leadoff man reach in the seventh in the second game but failed to capitalize.

Luke Whittaker (1-0) pitched in-and-out of trouble for the five-plus innings he tossed for the Bulldogs in the second game, picking up the victory by allowing five runs, one earned, on six hits. CU committed four errors in the contest, all of which led to AUM runs.

Jennings also had runners on base in both of his innings of work, including a two-out triple in the sixth where he stranded the runner at third and then the leadoff man in the seventh. But the freshman lefty induced a 6-4-3 doubleplay and then another groundout to post the save.

Saturday in Montgomery, Robert Post and Adam Sprague both tossed three-hit shutouts and leadoff hitter Sam Kikla scored five runs in the doubleheader, as Cumberland defeated Faulkner University, 6-0 and 15-0.

Eric Mull drove in seven runs in the twinbill, the first two wins of the season for the Bulldogs (2-1). CU won the second game in just five innings because of the 10-run rule.

Kikla, Mull, Matt Holliman, Max Kautz and Will Curry all collected two hits in the second game, while Kikla scored three times in the opener and Holliman drove in three runs with a bases-clearing double in a four-run second inning.

Post (1-0) tossed a three-hit shutout for CU, walking three and striking out five. Faulkner had at least one baserunner in the first six innings, but the Mt. Juliet Christian Academy product induced a pair of groundball doubleplays and the Eagles also lined into another twin-killing.

In the second contest, Holliman doubled down the leftfield line with one out in the first and scored on Mull’s single to left. The Bulldogs added six runs in the second and eight more in the third, taking advantage of three Faulkner errors along the way.

In the second Max Kautz and Curry both singled and Blake Simmons walked to load the bases. Kikla drove home two runs with a single and Holliman followed with an RBI single of his own. Mull then belted the Bulldogs second home run of the season, a three-run shot, for a 7-0 CU advantage.

Kautz led off the third with a solo homer. Curry was hit, Kikla singled again and Holliman reached on a fielder’s choice, loading the bases. Mull walked to force in a run and two more runs scored after a throwing error by Faulkner shortstop Austin Adams. A Kautz two-out walk forced in another run and Curry cleared the bases with a double to rightcenter for the final runs of the contest.

Sprague (1-0) walked two and struck out four in five innings of work, inducing eight ground ball outs. Again Faulkner had at least one baserunner in every inning but had only one reach second base.

In Friday’s season-opener, Zack Diekmann hit a solo homer but 11th-ranked Cumberland managed just five hits in a 4-1 loss at 18th-ranked Auburn-Montgomery Friday in a game called after six innings because of rain.

AUM’s Stephen Yates (3-0) picked up the win with six innings of work, walking two and striking out one while allowing the five hits and one run. Richard Timbrook (0-1), the CU starter, took the loss, giving up four runs, two earned, on eight hits in 4.1 innings. He walked four and did not strikeout a batter.

The Senators (6-1) scored once in the bottom of the first when leadoff batter Cody Shields singled in the middle of the infield and moved to third on Shane Moye’s single through the leftside. Tanner Williams grounded into a 6-3 doubleplay, but Shields scored on the play for an early lead.

Cumberland opens the home schedule next weekend against Iowa Wesleyan, with doubleheaders on Saturday (12 Noon) and Sunday (12:30 p.m.).

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