|CU baseball honors Stephen Wood|
|Tuesday, April 21, 2009|
PRIOR TO THURSDAY HOME GAME
Cumberland University will honor the late Stephen Wood and his contributions to the Bulldog baseball program before Thursday’s 1 p.m. twinbill against TranSouth Conference foe Martin Methodist.
Wood passed away April 21 at the age of 44 due to complications from liver cancer. He was a lifelong Midstate resident and Vanderbilt University graduate who helped greatly in the design and construction of the renovated baseball stadium and press box.
Head coach Woody Hunt will recognize Wood’s family prior to Thursday’s doubleheader against Martin Methodist, the last home series of the season for the Bulldogs.
CU and the Redhawks play a single game Friday at 1 p.m., highlighted by Senior Day pregame activities for 18 players -- Clint Alexander, Chuck Belote, Matt Burton, Babich Cowan, Will Curry, Zack Diekmann, Jeremiah McElwain, Chris Fanning, Mark Gividen, Corey Merrill, Eric Mull, James Parker, Blake Simmons, Eric Spivey, Richard Timbrook, Andrew Ward, Kyle West and Jeremy Wilson.
CU loses 2-of-3 at FHU -- Sam Kikla went 5-for-5 with eight RBIs as Cumberland outlasted Freed-Hardeman, 20-16, in eight innings in the opening game of a double-header, but the Lions came back with a 14-3 victory in the second game, splitting a baseball twinbill Saturday at Carnes Field in Henderson.
Cumberland (28-21, 13-5 TSAC) remains in a first-place tie with Trevecca despite losing the series at FHU. The Trojans lost a doubleheader Saturday to Lyon College and both teams will head into this week’s final series tied for first place. Freed-Hardeman (28-14, 12-7) solidified its position in third place with the series victory and can still mathematically win the conference.
Cumberland blew a 13-2 lead in the opener, as FHU scored eight runs in the fifth and then six runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the contest at 16.
But Kikla drove in a run, Michael Wheeler added two RBIs and Matt Holliman had a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning to retake the lead in a contest that lasted nearly three-and-a-half hours.
Richard Timbrook came on to get the final three outs and the save, but not before loading the bases with just one out. Eric Spivey (2-2), the fourth of five CU hurlers in the contest, picked up the victory, facing one batter and getting the final out of the seventh.
Starter Robert Post allowed two runs on four hits in four innings of work and left with a 13-2 lead. He walked four and struck out four.
Eric Spivey (1-2) took the loss, giving up 11 runs on nine hits in three innings of work. Lee’s Brandon Cuniff (3-1), the second of three Flames hurlers, picked up the victory, allowing no runs on three hits in three innings.
Cumberland got on the board with a run in the first and could have had more. Sam Kikla singled with one out and Matt Greener was hit. With two outs Tyler Fisher fisted a single into center, plating Kikla. Eric Mull walked to load the bases, but Matt Holliman struck out to end the inning.
The Bulldogs added another run in the second after a leadoff single from Alexander and a one-out triple to rightcenter by Kautz.
The Flames broke the game open with eight runs in the bottom of the inning, though only two of the balls were hit hard and just three left the infield.
Tanner Moore drew a leadoff walk and Junior Rodriguez hit a high chopper in the hole on the leftside. Holliman got to the ball but really didn’t have a play, though he made a throw to second that bounced into rightfield. Chris Dubon then lifted a soft line drive down the leftfield line, scoring a pair.
Ross Collins was hit and Trey Burstrom pushed a bunt by Spivey, loading the bases. Brian Bistagne then hit a high chopper to Holliman that he thought about flipping to second and then threw to first, but everyone was safe on the play. Julian Alvarez hit another high chopper around the second base bag. Holliman tried to touch the bag as he came by to field the ball but the runner was called safe.
Chris Warters singled home two runners and Elvis Sosa plated another with a single.
Cumberland scored three runs in the third, starting with a solo homer to leftcenter from Wheeler. Mull singled with one out and Alexander followed with a two-out single. With a full count Alexander was off on the pitch to Kyle West, who swung at a ball in the dirt that hit the catcher’s shinguard and bounced almost into the Lee dugout.
Mull scored easily and Alexander kept motoring toward third. Dubon’s throw to first was low and got away and Alexander scored on the play. Kautz then laced a double down the rightfield line and was thinking three again, but pinch-runner Dave Weyer was being held at third. Kautz was also to third before he looked up, causing a rundown. As Kautz headed back to second, Weyer broke for the plate but was tagged out to end the inning.
Moore hit a solo homer for the Flames in the fourth, his 14th of the season.
Lee added three more runs in the third after a leadoff walk to Dubon, an infield single from Collins and an RBI single to left by Burstrom. Bistagne put down a bunt that got by Spivey again and Alvarez drove home a run with a sacrifice fly. The final run of the inning scored on a balk for an 11-5 Flames advantage.
Cumberland loaded the bases in the fifth on a walk to Mull, a hit batter from Alexander and a single by Kautz, but Kikla fouled out to end the threat.
Moore belted a solo shot for Lee in the fifth for a 13-5 home team lead. In the sixth Sosa singled and Moore walked before Rodriguez hit a line shot three-run homer off the scoreboard in rightfield for the final margin.
CU loaded the bases again in the seventh when Alexander was hit again, West doubled and Kautz was hit, but Kikla and Matt Greener both struck out, ending the contest.