UC Baseball Loses Series to Shawnee State The University of the Cumberlands (UC) baseball team traveled to Portsmouth, Ohio over the weekend to take on Mid-South Conference (MSC) foe Shawnee State University for a three game series. Each game came down to the last inning, but the Patriots were able to only pick up one win.
In game one, UC wasted no time jumping out to a lead when Hibraim Cordova (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) scored on a passed ball after hitting a single to reach base to go up 1-0. In the second inning with the scored tied at one apiece, Cumberlands took the lead again 2-1 when Jake Goodman (Elizabethtown, KY) hit a solo homerun to deep centerfield.
In the sixth with the score even at 2, the Patriots once regained the lead scoring three runs to go up 5-2. Ryan Johnson (Goodlettsville, TN) hit a 2 RBI single to right and Jared Martin (Cynthiana, KY) drew a bases loaded walk.
Shawnee cut the lead to 5-3 in the bottom half of the inning, but UC added another run in the seventh on an RBI single from Blake Debacher (Miami, FL) scoring Claudio Valencia (Yuma, AZ) who doubled down the right field line to start the inning to extend the lead to 6-3.
In the eighth, the Patriots took their lead to 8-4 heading into the bottom half looking to end the game quickly. However, an error with 2 outs in the inning allowed the Bears to extend the inning and score 5 unanswered runs to take the 9-8 win.
Jonathan Paquet (Quebec, Canada) got the start for UC going 6 innings allowing 3 runs on 8 hits with 3 strikeouts. The loss went to reliever Adam Quiles (Miami, FL; 1-4) who went the last two innings allowing 6 runs (1 earned) on 6 hits with 3 strikeouts. The win went to Shawnee's Taylor Smith.
In game two, Cumberlands offense was unable to get on the board only tallying 5 hits in a 3-0 loss. The Patriots managed to get runners on base in every inning, except the fourth; including loading the bases in the fifth, but could never get the clutch hit to score a run.
Patriots' starter Jonathan Bobea (Flushing, NY; 1-3) got the loss going 6 innings allowing 2 runs, 1 earned, on 3 hits with 9 strikeouts. Keith Prowse (Charlotte, NC) came on in relief to go 2 innings allowing 1 run on 2 hits. The win went to the Bears' Calvin Sluberski.
In game three, the Patriots fell behind 2-0 after the first, but managed to grab the lead in the third to go up 3-2. In the second, Blake Debacher scored on an RBI double by Ryan Johnson. In the third, Jared Martin doubled then scored on an RBI double by Hibraim Cordova who later scored by stealing home.
Cumberlands fell behind again in the fourth 4-3 as Shawnee regained the lead that held until the last inning. Pinch hitter Alberto Mejia (Santo Dominbo, Dominican Republic) walked to start the inning and was sacrificed bunted to second by Charles Hyde (Fort Mitchell, KY). Jared Martin then delivered a clutch RBI double to the left centerfield wall to tie the game at 4 all.
In extra innings, the Patriots grabbed the lead for good on an RBI double by Zach McRoberts (Hillsboro, KY) to give them the 6-4 lead. In the bottom half, Shawnee made things interesting by getting a solo homerun by Joe Henderson. However, Cumberlands was able to hold on for the 6-5 win.
Getting the start for UC was Kahana Neal (Pearl City, HI) who went 6 innings allowing 4 runs, 3 earned, on 6 hits with 3 strikeouts. The win went to Cameron Smith (Louisville, KY; 3-0) who pitched a scoreless seventh and Claudio Valencia got his third save of the season pitching the eighth. The loss went to Shawnee's Jordan Williams.
Coach Brad Shelton commented, "We are still struggling to play a complete game. When we have pitched well, we've struggled offensively. When we have scored runs, we've failed to shut teams down. We have to finish games. We competed hard all weekend and I like that about our team. We just have to keep trying to get better and hope to peak at the right time."
The Patriots are now 20-14 (5-10 MSC) on the season as they head into the new week. They are back in action on Tuesday, April 2nd at Asbury University starting at 2:00 pm and host (RV) Virginia Intermont College on Thursday, April 4th starting at 3:30 pm. Cumberlands will then be at home during the weekend for an MSC series against University of Pikeville starting on Friday, April 5th at 1:00 pm. The series will resume on Saturday, April 6th starting at 12:00 pm.
The weekend will also be the Patriots Baseball Alumni Weekend as they welcome back all former Indians and Patriots to the ball park. All alumni interested in attending should contact assistant coach Shane Anglin at firstname.lastname@example.org. All alumni in attendance will be recognized on the field for their time and accomplishments as a member of the UC baseball family. They will also have food provided to them at the games and have a chance to hit on the field Saturday morning at 9:00 am weather permitting. After Saturday's games, all alumni are invited, at their own cost, to eat dinner at the Patriot Steakhouse in the Cumberland Inn where Head Coach Brad Shelton will address everyone.
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.