CU plays No. 5 UC 1 pm Saturday --
BOWLING GREEN, KY -- Jared Schmidt posted two hits and four RBIs, including a towering three-run homer, Eddie McDaniels added two hits and two runs scored while James Hatcher battled through six innings for the win in Cumberland's 8-4 victory over 13th-ranked Georgetown College in the Mid-South Conference Baseball Championships Friday night.
The Phoenix (33-22) take on fifth-ranked University of the Cumberlands on Saturday at 1 p.m. in another elimination game, weather permitting.
The Patriots defeated Cumberland, 7-1, on Thursday night in the tournament.
Pablo Custodio added two hits and Kyle Blackwell scored twice for CU. Hatcher (7-0) allowed two runs in the third and stranded six runners in his six innings, walking one, hitting two and striking out six.
Thomas Galart tossed the final three frames for his third save of the year, giving up one run on a ball that Blackwell lost in the lights in the ninth. The righthander hit one and struck out three.
Ryan Gaynor's two-run double in the third inning put the Tigers ahead and McDaniel saved an even bigger inning with a catch against the wall against Ryan Garner to end the frame.
Cumberland tied the contest on an RBI single by McDaniels in the fifth. Bentley Jones then walked and Schmidt hammered his 12th home run of the year, a towering blast that hit the top of a tent on the upper concourse in leftfield, putting the Phoenix ahead for good, 5-2.
Custodio scored on a passed ball and Peyton Wheatley added an RBI single in the sixth, pushing the lead to 7-2, and a run-scoring double by Jones in the eighth accounted for the final run for CU.
Andrew Martinez (9-4) suffered the loss for the Tigers, giving up four earned runs on four hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out two. Chris Gilbody, Randall Schab and Gaynor collected two hits apiece, but Georgetown was just 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position in the contest, leaving eight runners on base.
The Phoenix plated a run in the first after McDaniels led off with a single and Jones reached on an error, which allowed the runners to take second and third. Schmidt's line drive to center plated the run, but CU stranded Jones at third.
The Tigers took the lead in the third when Tyler Wagner reached on a bunt single and Gabriel Figueroa was hit, one of three times he was hit in the contest. Gilbody's sacrifice attempt turned into an out at third, but the runners moved up on a wild pitch and Gaynor plated both with a double down the rightfield line.
Blackwell walked to start the fifth for the Phoenix and went to second on a sac bunt by Bo Saunders. With two outs McDaniel's hot-shot bounced off the body of Georgetown shortstop Figueroa into leftfield, plating the tying run.
Two batters later Schmidt's blast gave Cumberland a 5-2 advantage.
Custodio doubled to leftcenter with one out in the sixth and Blackwell beat out an infield single before a passed ball allowed Custodio to score. Wheatley singled to center, plating Blackwell for a 7-2 CU lead.
Figueroa and Gilbody both singled to start the Tigers seventh, ending the day for Hatcher, and after a fielder's choice by Gaynor, Val Stammler's sacrifice fly to right scored Figueroa.
Cumberland got the run back in the eighth after Saunders was hit to leadoff and Wheatley pushed the runners to second with a sac bunt. Jones doubled to leftcenter with two outs for the final run of the game for the Phoenix.
Figueroa was hit in the ninth and after a fielder's choice, Gaynor's line drive to right hit Blackwell in the head area, lost in the lights, allowing Gilbody to score, but Stammler struck out to end the contest.