|CU's Stovall whiffs 11; pinned with 3-0 loss Tuesday at The Vet|
|Tuesday, March 13, 2012|
LEBANON -- Devin Stovall struck out 11 in six innings of work, but seventh-ranked Cumberland managed just five hits and stranded 10 runners in a 3-0 loss to 15th-ranked Missouri Baptist Tuesday night at Veterans Field.
The Bulldogs (15-10) wasted a solid effort from Stovall (1-3), who allowed just one earned run on four hits with one walk. He gave up a solo homer in the first inning and an unearned run in the third to the Spartans (12-8), who split a pair of games after losing 6-1 to Campbellsville University earlier in the day on the CU campus.Cumberland stranded at least one runner in each of the first six innings, including two in the first inning and the bases loaded in the sixth. In the sixth William Henderson blooped a single into short center with one out and Ben Foster and Tyler Alford both walked, loading the bases and prompting a pitching change for MBU. Pinch-hitter Daniel Harrison popped out and Cory Urquhart struck out looking against reliever Aaron Matula, who posted his first save with 1.2 perfect innings. Spartans starter Michael Avila (2-0) gave up five hits and walked five with four strikeouts in 5.1 innings to pick up the victory.
Sam Lind collected two of CU’s five hits in the game, but it was CU’s inability to get a hit with runners on base that was the difference, going 0-for-6 in the contest with runners in scoring position.
Kyle Hardy hit a hanging breaking ball over the wall in leftfield in the first inning to give the Spartans an early lead.
MBU scored again in the third thanks to a Bulldog miscue. Joe Riley walked to leadoff and Patrick Johnson put down a bunt, but Josh McGee bobbled the ball and both runners were safe. Riley moved to third on a deep fly ball by Kyle Turner and Hardy’s fly ball to center pushed across the run for a 2-0 advantage.
The Bulldogs produced very few scoring opportunities against Avila, with Urquhart and Mike Mandarino both singling in the first and CU loading the bases in the sixth. Cumberland stranded at least one runner in the first six innings, including Lind after he tripled with one out in the fifth. Mandarino and McGee both grounded to third to end the inning.
The Spartans plated an insurance run in the seventh when Matt Harjung singled against reliever Logan Neal and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Barban. With two outs Johnson singled through the rightside, scoring Harjung with the game’s final run.
Cumberland takes on Missouri Baptist again Wednesday at 2 p.m. before hitting the road for a weekend series at Martin Methodist beginning Friday at 6 p.m.