LEBANON -- Cumberland University's No. 5-ranked baseball team wrapped up the TranSouth Conference regular season championship Thursday with a doubleheader sweep over Mid-Continent at Stockton Field.
Winning 4-3 in the opener and 3-2 in the nightcap, coupled with Union's 7-3 victory over Trevecca, handed the title to Coach Woody Hunt's Bulldogs.
"We've been through a lot as a team," Hunt said, "our guys kept battling, managed to find ways to win. We hope we've got many more games to play."
Third baseman TJ Murphy hit a pair of two-run home runs, one in each game, to lead Cumberland's offense.
CU (41-12, 19-4 TranSouth) will close out the regular season with the final game of the series against the Cougars at 2 p.m. Friday.
Centerfielder "Boo" Butler, who was named the Music City Star of the Game, capped a 3-for-3 opening game with a sixth-inning, two-out double to left, scoring Daniel Harrison from second for the game-winner.
The late-inning heroics by Butler helped give Bulldog ace Aaron Wilkerson his 11th win in as many starts this season. The Waco, Texas, native worked around four hits and three walks, while striking out nine to pick up his 25th straight decision. One of the walks came in the seventh inning, but Wilkerson got Trevor Buford to line into a game-ending double play.
The second game of the doubleheader started just like the first with Appleton singling to left field before Murphy sent a home run to right field.
Locante kept the Cougars hitless for 4 2/3 innings before back-to-back singles plated two unearned runs. Buford led off the fifth with a grounder to Tommy Crews, who lost the ball on the transfer from his glove. A walk and a sacrifice bunt put two runners in scoring position with one out before Locante struck out Daniel Edwards. Nathan Lawrence and Adam Connor then produced the only two Mid-Continent hits of the contest, knotting the game at 2-2.
Crews hit a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh, ending a stretch of 13 straight batters retired by Tyler Hall. Fanshawe followed with a single through the right side, forcing Mid-Continent to go to the bullpen. Hunter Burge got Jesse Bowman swinging before Butler drew a walk to load the bases for Appleton, who also took a walk to bring the game-winning run home.
Locante (7-2) struck out six and worked around seven walks to earn the victory.
Wilson Central 2, Mt. Juliet 1
GLADEVILLE -- Wilson Central improved to 5-3 in District 9AAA with a narrow 2-1 baseball victory over Mt. Juliet High Thursday night.
Devin Fish scored from third on a seventh inning error to hand the win to the Wildcats -- who stand 16-13 headed into tonight's 7 p.m. rematch in Mt. Juliet.ethan Nehus went the distance for Central, picking up the win. He scattered four hits and struck out eight batter.
Kyle Smith took the loss for the Bears, allowing just three hits and striking out 11.
FCS 9, Trousdale Co. 7
LEBANON -- Cale Mitchell slugged a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh to lift Friendship Christian to a 9-7 win over visiting Trousdale County High Thursday night.
The win was the ninth in a row for the Commanders, who improved to 15-7 overall and 7-1 in District 8A.
TCHS scored six runs in the top of the second to go ahead 7-1, only to see the Commanders chip away at the lead.
Sophomore Caleb Snider (3-0) picked up the win in relief.
FCS returns to action tonight for a 6:30 p.m. game vs. Macon County.
TONIGHT -- Lebanon will visit Portland for a 7 p.m. game, then will host Station Camp Saturday in a 12 Noon game at Veterans Field.
Lebanon 6, Wilson Central 5
LEBANON -- Paige Sellars drilled a two-out single in the bottom of the seventh to lift Lebanon to a 6-5 softball win over Wilson Central Thursday at Baird Park.
The win lifted LHS to 15-14 overall and 4-5 in District 9AAA while Central slipped to 17-14-1 and 6-2 in league play.
Kelci Swafford had a three-run homer in the third for the Lady Wildcats, her third of the season.
Soph Beth Swartwout went the distance for LHS, scattering eight hits.
Sidney Smith (11-7) took the loss for Central.
Lebanon will be back in action Friday at 5 p.m. as Gallatin comes to Baird Park for a 9AAA contest. Lebanon will celebrate Senior Night following the game.
Ezell-Harding 10, MJCA 3
ANTIOCH -- Mt. Juliet Christian Academy slipped to 14-5 overall and 8-5 in the East-Middle region Thursday with a 10-3 loss at Ezell-Harding.
Emily Threadgill took the loss for the Lady Saints, allowing 10 hits and striking out two.
Shelby Leech and Threadgill each had two hits in the loss.