|Bulldogs sweep FHU|
|Wednesday, April 21, 2010|
LEBANON -- If the booming bats don’t get you one day, Cumberland’s stingy pitching staff will get you the next. The Bulldogs (now 37-8 overall / 10-2 TranSouth) relied on both offensive production as well as spectacular pitching and solid defense in a weekend sweep of visiting Freed-Hardeman University.
Ranked No. 2 in the latest NAIA national poll, Coach Woody Hunt’s team opened the conference series Friday with a 16-5 bludgeoning of the Lions at Ernest L. Stockton Field.
The Bulldogs collected 15 hits and took advantage of four walks, a hit batter and one costly error by the Lions in the run-rule shortened contest.
Cumberland scored four runs in the second and fifth innings and eight runs in the fourth inning. Max Kautz homered twice, doubled and drove in five runs and Matt Greener added three hits and five RBIs for the Bulldogs.
Greener was seeing his first action since missing most of the two previous games with a wrist injury. His first at bat proved his health with a booming double off the wall in left center, then singled home a pair of runs in the fourth and hit a bases-clearing double in the fifth, extending his hitting streak to 30 games in the process.
Shawn Schaefer (9-0) was sharp early but struggled a little with his control after the three straight long innings. The lefthander allowed three runs on five hits in six innings with three walks and seven strikeouts for his ninth victory in nine games this season.
On Saturday, the wind was blowing in at Stockton Field, making for a pitcher’s park. Cumberland’s arms responded as Aaron Wilkerson, Robert Post and Adam Sprague combined to limit the Lions to just two runs in 4-1 and 5-1 victories.
Wilkerson (7-1) allowed just four hits, walked one and struck out four in his seventh complete game of the year in the opener. He worked out of a jam in the fourth inning and gave up a solo homer in the sixth to earn his seventh straight decision.
Kautz singled twice and scored two runs in the opener while Greg Appleton had an RBI double in the fifth and later scored on a Troy Frazier sacrifice fly that gave the Bulldogs some breathing room.
Post (5-2) started and allowed just one run in the first after the Lions loaded the bases with no one out, and the righthander cruised through the next three innings before FHU loaded the bases again with nobody out in the fifth.
Sprague induced a doubleplay and a ground ball to get out of the fifth with Freed-Hardeman scoring and then tossed the final two innings for his first save of the year.
Cumberland registered 19 hits in the doubleheader but stranded 11 baserunners against a steady diet of lefthanders for the Lions.
With the sweep, the Bulldogs won their sixth, seventh and eighth straight contests and swept a conference series for the second straight weekend. Union is just one game behind the ‘Dogs in the league, though CU won 2-of-3 from Union in the first TSC series of the season.