|Bulldogs host Milligan today|
|Wednesday, February 15, 2012|
Cumberland’s baseball team will bring a record of 2-4 into today’s home opener vs. Milligan College at Ernest L. Stockton Field. A 12 Noon first pitch is planned for the doubleheader -- two, seven-inning games.
Today marks the first of 20 home dates planned for the 2012 season, some 27 scheduled games.
The No. 7 ranked Bulldogs lost all three games at the Belhaven Invitational to three ranked teams, managing just 16 hits combined in the three contests.“We didn’t play very well,” said Cumberland head coach Woody Hunt. On Saturday, senior Mike Mandarino allowed just five hits and struck out seven, but No. 21 Southern Poly scored twice in the fourth inning in a 2-1 victory over CU.
“We had some good pitching performances, Mike pitched well, but we didn’t battle very well at the plate. We struck out too much and were basically overmatched,” Hunt said.
Nick Sydnor drove in the only run for the Bulldogs with a triple after Mandarino doubled to lead off the second inning.
But Cumberland had just one hit the rest of the game, as SPSU hurler David Gibson (1-1) retired 23 of the final 24 batters of the game.
“I didn’t think we played with much passion the first two games, but the third day we picked it up a little. We need more actual game work. It’s still awfully early to be playing baseball.”
Mandarino (1-1) did not walk a batter in eight innings, the longest outing of his career. He retired the Hornets (4-6) in order in five innings and allowed one baserunner in two others. Kendadll Wehrle plated a run with a groundout and Jon White followed with a run-scoring single for SPSU’s only runs.
Gibson gave up just three hits, walked one and struck out nine in the complete game. He walked Brodie Ross in the first inning and allowed a single to Chris Del Bianco to leadoff the sixth for CU’s only baserunners of the contest.
Mandarino doubled to left to leadoff the second inning and pinch-runner William Henderson came around to score on Sydnor’s one-out triple to rightcenter.
LSU-Shreveport 9, Cumberland 0
The Bulldogs managed just six hits against three LSUS hurlers but stranded 11 runners in the game, leaving the bases loaded in the first and seventh innings and one baserunner in seven of the nine frames.
CU left 12 runners on base in the 5-2 loss against Belhaven as well. Cumberland starter Chipper Smith (0-2) allowed four runs, two earned, in four innings of work, walking two and striking out six. Errors in the second and third innings put the lefthander in tough situations and the Pilots delivered RBI hits in the second, third and fourth to take a 4-0 advantage early.
Belhaven 5, Cumberland 2
Belhaven (6-2) scored twice in the fifth and then two more times in the sixth, all unearned, against CU starter Keith Kirby and added a run in the eighth.
The Bulldogs managed just seven hits against three BU hurlers but stranded 12 runners, unable to take advantage of six walks. Nick Sydnor and Daniel Harrison each drove in runs in a two-run third for Cumberland.
Kirby (1-1) scattered nine hits, did not walk a batter and struck out five in six innings to take the hard-luck loss.
Schedule change -- CU’s baseball game scheduled for Thursday against Lindsey Wilson has been moved to Friday at 2 p.m.