|CU pounds Lions 12-1|
|Wednesday, April 30, 2008|
MILLINGTON – Cumberland University moved one step closer to locking up a berth in next week’s Region XI baseball tournament with a 12-1 victory over Freed-Hardeman Wednesday night in the TranSouth Conference Tournament being played at USA Stadium.
The victory sends the Bulldogs (39-19) into a 3:30 p.m. game Thursday against Martin Methodist with CU needing a win to finish at least third and thus qualify for the Region XI Tournament which will be held at Stockton Field.Brian Lucas drove in three runs on a pair of hits to support the dominating pitching of senior Robert Clayton – who improved to 7-4 with the decision.
The big right hander from Miami, FL handcuffed the Lions on seven hits while striking out six without a walk. Clayton was forced to leave the game with two outs in the eighth inning after taking a hard shot off his pitching hand.
“Rob may have a broken (pinky) finger, we just don’t know yet,” said CU coach Woody Hunt. “If it’s dislocated, we might be able to get him back. It’s a shame, he pitched one of his best games of the season tonight. He really had some good velocity and a sharp breaking ball.”
With the game tied 1-1 after four complete, Cumberland put the contest on ice with three in the top of the fifth and three more in the top of the seventh.
Zack Diekman went 3-for-4 with three RBI while Michael Wheeler continued his torrid play in the tournament with two more RBI – giving him eight in three games – on a pair of hits.Third baseman Austin Morgan ripped a two-run single in the fifth inning. James Lilley and Nick Jiles each scored three times from the top of the batting order.No. 1 seeded Trevecca Nazarene will play No. 6 seeded Freed-Hardeman (32-17) Thursday at 12 Noon; followed by the CU – Martin Methodist game. The Bulldogs are the only undefeated team (3-0) remaining in the tournament.