Saturday game wraps series
LEBANON -- Cumberland University's baseball team opened the home portion of the 2016 season Friday by dropping a doubleheader to Madonna University 8-0 and 5-2 at Stockton Field.
The Phoenix and Madonna are scheduled to wrap up the series Saturday with a 12 Noon single game.
For free live stats and acces to a video feed -- visit Cumberland's website at gocumberlandathletics.com
Evan Piechota tossed a one-hit shutout in the opener and Madonna pounded out 16 hits in a doubleheader sweep, 8-0 and 5-2, over Cumberland in baseball action on a blustery Friday afternoon at Ernest L. Stockton Field-Woody Hunt Stadium.
The Phoenix (2-3) and Crusaders (2-0) finish the series Saturday with a Noon first pitch.
Piechota (1-0) didn't give Cumberland much chance in the opener, allowing a fifth-inning single to Mitch Langer. The righthander did not walk a batter and struck out five, tossing just 77 pitches in the complete-game victory.
Taylor Grzelakowski collected two hits and scored twice, while Ben Matigian added two hits and two RBIs and Jimmy White drove in a pair of runs as well. Madonna scored three times in the third off CU starter Mike Melendez (0-1), who gave up four runs on four hits with four walks in 2.2 innings.
The Crusaders added three runs in the sixth against Curtis Hoppe as well.
John Lauro collected two RBIs and Mike Tibbits had two hits for Madonna in the second game, who scored twice in the third and fourth innings to break open a scoreless game. MU starter Johno Rodriguez (1-0) gave up one run on two hits with eight strikeouts in five innings and Bobby St. Pierre walked one and struck out one in one inning of work to earn the save.
Joshua Mollett (0-2) suffered the loss for CU, allowing three earned runs on eight hits in four innings. Langer andRichard Carter each drove in runs for the Phoenix, who managed only five hits in the contest.
In the opener Levi Larmour and Grzelakowski both singled to start the second inning and Larmour took third on a fly ball by Matigian and scored on White's sacrifice fly.
Madonna broke the game open with three runs in the third, with Ryan Lambrecht walking with one out to begin the rally. Lambrecht was thrown out trying to steal, but Melendez then walked Lauro and Larmour with two outs.
Grzelakowski doubled to left, plating a run, and Matigian's single up the middle plated two more for a 4-0 advantage.
Hoppe cruised through two-plus innings of relief work before running into trouble in the sixth when he hit Grzelakowski to leadoff the inning. Matigian sacrificed the runner to second and with two outs, Ryan Freemantle walked.
Matt Deneau then singled home a run and Shane Dokey's infield single scored another. Two walks from Brett Cox forced in another run for a 7-0 MU advantage.
In the seventh Grzelakowski led off with a free pass against Caleb Pitts and Matigian followed with a single. White's line drive to right plated pinch-runner Jalen Thomas with the final run of the game.
Chase Dobbie's one-out single up the middle and a grounder through the left side by Deneau put the Crusaders in business in the third inning in the second game. Tibbits then singled through the middle, scoring Dobbie, and pinch-runner Zack Byron took third when the ball was bobbled in centerfield by CU's Steven Hollis. Lambrecht's sac fly to left gave Madonna a 2-0 lead.
Dokey started the fourth inning with a single and Grzelakowski followed with a double, putting runners on second and third. Both came across on Lauro's single to left for a 4-0 Crusaders advantage.
Cumberland got a run back in the bottom of the inning when Phil Stiles drew a leadoff walk and went to second on a passed ball. Langer's double to left plated the run, but he was stranded at third with one out after a foul out and a groundout ended the frame.
In the fifth Tibbits walked with one out, moved to second on a passed ball and third on a balk before scoring on Grzelakowski's sacrifice fly.
Bo Saunders started the Cumberland sixth with a single to center and Melendez doubled down the leftfield line with one out. Carter's infield single scored one run, but the Phoenix missed a chance to make it a big inning.