|Mandarino belts 3 HRs|
|Monday, March 12, 2012|
LEBANON -- Cumberland’s No. 7-ranked baseball team improved to 19-9 on the season and 5-1 in the TranSouth Conference with a weekend sweep of visiting Lyon College.
Coach Woody Hunt's Bulldogs got a good dose of offensive firepower in Sunday's 13-3 run-rule win over the Scots Sunday at Stockton Field.
Senior first baseman Mike Mandarino (pictured) belted three home runs and drove in six runs Sunday as Cumberland hitters ripped 11 hits in just six inning, including six homers, off four Lyon pitchers in the contest.
“We’ve got some guys who can swing the bat. Today was a good day to hit,” Coach Hunt said. “Mike showed what kind of hitter he is. We scattered some hits throughout the game and got some big two-out hits.”
Mandarino hit a solo homer to leadoff the second inning, added a two-run shot in the third and belted a tape-measure shot down the leftfield line in the sixth.
Nick Sydnor, Tyler Wheeler and Antonio Butler each posted solo homers in the win.
Junior Chipper Smith (4-3) picked up the victory, allowing two earned runs on five hits in six innings of work. The lefthander walked two and struck out six. Devin Stovall tossed a perfect seventh inning, striking out two Scot batters.
“Chipper can pitch better than he did today,” Hunt said. “He needs to attack the zone more. He threw well enough to get win -- we need to get a lot of starts from him.”
The sweep gave the Bulldogs five consecutive wins and victories in six of their last eight outings.
“We got the sweep, but we didn’t play as well as we can,” Hunt said. “We had the long trip back from Florida and a couple of guys are a little banged up. It was a tough weekend to come back and play at our best.”
Cumberland will host No. 15-ranked Missouri Baptist Tuesday, March 13 in a 6 p.m. game under the lights at Veterans Field in Baird Park. The two teams will play a 2 p.m. game Wednesday at Stockton Field on the CU campus.
This weekend, the Bulldogs visit Pulaski for a three-game conference series at Martin Methodist -- Friday and Saturday, March 16 and 17.