CU plays today at 2:30 p.m.
PADUCAH, KY — No. 5-ranked Cumberland rode a stellar performance by junior lefty Will Locante Thursday night for an 11-1 victory over William Jewell in the opening round of the NAIA National Championships.
Locante (8-2) was electric, striking out 14 batters in seven innings, allowing just one hit and no walks.
“We had a pro pitcher going for us tonight,” said CU coach Woody Hunt. “Fourteen strikeouts in just seven innings is a dominating performance at any level.”
CU pounded William Jewell pitching for 13 hits, led by second baseman Tommy Crews who went 4-for-4 with four RBI and three runs scored — including a three run homer. Tommy Winegardner slugged a three-run homer, his 8th of the season and Mike Mandarino added a solo blast — his team leading 18th HR of the season.
“We scored consistentaly tonight, and had a couple of big innings,” Hunt said, “Tommy Crews is really swinging the bat well for us right now . We played good defense, made some tough plays.”
Now 44-14 on the season, Cumberland will take on Tennessee Wesleyan Friday in a 2:30 p.m. game at Brooks Stadium.
Live radio coverage begins at 2:10 p.m. on WCOR AM-1490 and on the Internet at www.gocumberlandathletics.com.