The University of the Cumberlands (UC) baseball team opened up Mid-South Conference (MSC) play over the weekend as they hosted the Tigers of Campbellsville University at Doyle Buhl Stadium.
In game one the Patriots jumped out to an early 1-0 lead heading into the third inning when John Doolittle (Sharpsburg, GA) hit an RBI double to score Blake Debacher (Miami, FL) who singled to reach base. However, Campbellsville would score 9 unanswered runs to take the 9-2 lead over the next four innings.
Cumberlands would add one more run in the bottom of the sixth on an RBI single from Thomas Noll (Petersburg, KY) to score Blake Debacher who doubled to get the inning started. The Tigers would take game one by a score of 12-2.
Kahana Neal (Pearl City, HI; 2-1) would pick up his first loss of the season going 4 innings allowing 5 runs on 8 hits with 3 strikeouts. Keith Prowse (Charlotte, NC) would come on in the fifth inning to get the Pats out of a jam throwing 1.2 innings allowing 4 runs on 3 hits before Duncan-Kaai Ebert came on in the sixth inning to end the threat to pitch 3.1 innings. The win went to Campbellsville's Allen Hewey who threw 5 innings in relief allowing 1 run on 4 hits.
The Patriots wasted no time in game two jumping out to a lead in the first inning 2-0. Charles Hyde (Fort Mitchell, KY) got the game started with a single on a bang, bang play at first to reach base. Hibraim Cordovo (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) would then hit an RBI double with 2 outs to score Hyde. Hibraim would steal third on the next pitch and score as the Tigers catcher threw the ball into leftfield attempting to throw Hibraim out.
Cumberlands starter Jonathan Paquet (Quebec, Canada) was able to hold the Tigers scoreless through four innings before they finally got on the board with one run in fifth to cut the lead to 2-1. Tanner Nielsen walked and later scored on an RBI single by Shayne Kelly. Adam Quiles (Miami, FL; 0-2) would come on in the sixth in relief of Paquet who pitched 5 innings allowing 1 run on 6 hits with 4 strikeouts.
The Patriots held the 2-1 advantage heading into the last inning, but costly errors came back to hurt them. The Tigers leadoff hitter Angelo Simmons would reach base on an error and later score on an RBI single from Travis Hayes to tie the game at 2 apiece. Hayes would go on to steal second base to get into scoring position before scoring on a misplayed ball to give the Tigers the 3-2 win.
The loss went to the Patriots Adam Quiles who pitched 2 innings and gave up 2 unearned runs on 2 hits with 2 strikeouts. The win went to Campbellsville's Patrick McMeel who pitched 4.2 scoreless innings allowing 1 hit with 8 strikeouts.
In game three the bats heated up for both sides as Cumberlands and Campbellsville matched each other run for run. Every time one team seemed to get momentum on their side the other would answer back.
The Tigers Tanner Nielsen would score in the first on a wild pitch to give Campbellsville the 1-0 lead. The Patriots answered back with 2 runs of their own in the bottom half when Victor Morel (New York, NY) and Hibriam Cordova scored on double off the bat of Blake Debacher to get the 2-1 lead.
Campbellsville would score in the second to tie the game at 2 apiece and Cumberlands would regain the lead in the third inning when Hibriam doubled, stole third, and scored on a wild pitch to put the score at 3-2.
The Tigers went on to score a run in each of the next three innings to take the 5-3 lead. Cumberlands answered back with a run in the sixth to cut the lead to 5-4 on a double by John Doolittle to score Claudio Valencia (Yuma, AZ) who doubled to start the inning.
The Patriots entered the ninth inning still trailing by one looking to send the game into extra innings. Claudio led off reaching first on a hit by pitch and reached second on a sac bunt by John Doolittle. The Tigers would get the next batter to strikeout leaving the game in the hands of pinch hitter Stone Osborne (Owenton, KY) with two outs. Stone worked the count to 1-1 before dropping in a single between the second baseman and right fielder scoring Claudio to tie the game at 5-5. Cumberlands would go on to load the bases in the inning on a double by Thomas Noll and a walk to Victor Morel. However, the Patriots couldn't capitalize as the next batter popped up to end the inning.
In the tenth Campbellsville would take the lead 6-5 as costly errors once again came back to haunt the Patriots. Michael Bush walked to start the inning and advanced to third on a throwing error when the next batter laid down a bunt. Keaton Neeb would then hit an RBI single to score Bush and give Campbellsville the win at 6-5 as the Patriots were unable to answer in the bottom half.
Cumberlands starter Jonathan Bobea (Flushing, NY) lasted 7 innings allowing 5 runs, 3 earned, on 7 hits with 3 strikeouts. In relief was Donovan Feenstra (Calgary, Canada; 0-1) who went 2 innings allowing 1 run on 2 hits with 2 strikeouts in picking up the loss. Claudio Valencia came on in the tenth to get the Patriots out of the jam. The win went to the Tigers Drew Pettit.
When asked about the weekend, Head Coach Brad Shelton said, "It was a disappointing weekend. We had our chances to win at least two of the games and we came up short. Campbellsville has a good team; we just made a few more mistakes than they did. I thought our pitching was solid and our offense is improving, but we took a step back defensively. It's February and this is a grind. This group is talented. We just need to get games under our belts and we'll be fine. We are building towards April and May."
The Patriots 5-7 (0-3 MSC) are back in action on Friday, March 1st when they host MSC foe Cumberland University starting at 1:00 pm. The series continues on Saturday, March 2nd with a double header starting at 12:00 pm.
For more information on the University of the Cumberlands baseball team you can follow them on twitter at @uccoachshelton or visit the athletics website www.cumberlandspatriots.com.