On Friday, March 22nd the University of the Cumberlands (UC) baseball team was on the road for a Mid-South Conference (MSC) series against #20 Georgetown College. Cumberlands held the lead late in all three games, but came away from the weekend with only one win to show for it.
In game one, the Patriots were able to knock the Tigers starter Matt Smith out of the game in the third inning as they jumped out to a 5-0 lead. In the first inning, Charles Hyde (Fort Mitchell, KY) led the inning off with a single to centerfield and scored on a wild pitch. Then, center fielder Hibraim Cordova (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) doubled and scored on a RBI single from Blake Debacher (Miami, FL).
In the second, Jake Goodman (Elizabethtown, KY) and Alberto Mejia (Santo Dominbo, Dominican Republic) walked to start the inning. Ryan Johnson (Goodlettsville, TN) moved the runners into scoring position on a groundout to the second baseman. Goodman then scored on a groundball by Charles Hyde to the third baseman whose throw was late to the plate. Jared Martin (Cynthiana, KY) hit an RBI single scoring Mejia and Debacher hit a ground ball scoring Hyde.
Georgetown answered back over the next six innings to score eight unanswered runs to take the 8-5 lead and the win that went to the Tigers' Chris Villalobos who pitched 7 scoreless innings allowing 3 hits. The loss went to Duncan Kaai-Ebert (Kapolei, HI; 1-1) who came on in relief to throw 3.1 innings allowing 1 unearned run on 2 hits. Adam Quiles (Miami, FL) also pitched in relief going 3 innings allowing 4 runs (1 earned) on 5 hits.
Game two went into the fifth inning scoreless as the Patriots starter Jonathan Bobea (Flushing, NY; 1-2) was cruising through 4 innings allowing only 3 hits, but the Tigers were able to get a run on the board for the 1-0 lead when Marvin Flores scored on a pass ball.
Georgetown starter Tyler Arthur was also cruising through 5 innings only allowing 5 hits until the Patriots answered with 2 runs in the sixth to take the 2-1 lead. Hyde led the inning off with a single and scored on a RBI single from Hibraim Cordova who then scored on an RBI single from Claudio Valencia (Yuma, AZ).
Cumberlands ran into trouble in the seventh using 4 pitchers to get out of a jam as Georgetown scored 5 runs to take the 6-2 lead. The Patriots made things interesting in the last 2 innings, but couldn't get another run as they lost 6-2 in game two.
The loss went to Cumberlands Jonathan Bobea who pitched 6.1 innings allowing 4 runs (3 earned) on 7 hits with 3 strikeouts. Jordan Cruz-Del Olmo (Miami, FL) had a good outing in relief going 1.2 scoreless innings allowing 2 hits. The win went to the Tigers' Tyler Arthur.
The Patriots turned to Kahana Neal (Pearl City, HI; 4-1) in game three to take the mound and he delivered one of his best pitching performances of the season completely shutting down the Tiger bats. Kahana was able to throw a complete game shutout going 7 innings scattering 6 hits with 5 strikeouts in picking up his fourth win of the season.
Cumberlands took the 1-0 lead in the third as Hyde scored on an RBI single by Jared Martin. UC added one in the sixth on an RBI double by Claudio Valencia scoring Hibraim Cordova and got one more in the seventh on an RBI single by Ryan Palenzuela (Miami, FL) scoring Hunter Best (Jamestown, KY) who was pinch running for Jake Goodman after walking. The Patriots went on for the game three win 3-0. The loss went to Georgetown's starter Shaun Meyer.
Leading the Patriots on the weekend was Hibraim Cordova who had 7 hits, 3 runs scored, and an RBI. Claudio Valencia chipped in with 5 hits. Jared Martin and Jake Goodman had 2 hits apiece.
"Kahana Neal pitched well again and Hibraim Cordova and Claudio Valencia had good weekends offensively," said Head Coach Brad Shelton. "Jonathan Bobea had a solid start in game two and Duncan Kaai-Ebert was very good out of the bullpen in game one. It was a tough weekend at Georgetown. To have the lead in all three games and only come away with one win is disappointing. We have been dealing with some injuries the last couple of weeks, but hopefully we will be at full strength by this coming weekend when we head to Shawnee State."
The Patriots are currently 18-12 (4-8 MSC) on the season heading into this week's action. Cumberlands will be at home on Wednesday, March 27th hosting Berea College at 3:00 pm. They will then hit the road to take on MSC foe Shawnee State University for a three game series on Friday, March 29th with game one scheduled to begin at 1:00 pm. The series will resume on Saturday, March 30th 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.