LEBANON -- Red-hot Cumberland prepared for Sunday's Mid-South Conference tournament opener with a come from behind 12-7 win over Bryan College Wednesday, April 30 in the 2014 regular season finale at Stockton Field.
Down 6-0 to the Lions after two innings, the Bulldogs rallied behind two grand slam homers from Justin Byrd and a solo shot off the bat of Chris Hall, improving to 36-17 overall.
Starting pitcher Clint Meadows started for CU, but surrendered 10 hits in one and two-thirds innings of work.
"Clint ran into some tough luck there early in the game," said CU coach Woody Hunt. "He's a much better pitcher than we saw today. I just told him to forget about it -- act like it never happened. Four of the 10 hits he gave up were bloopers. We're going to need him next week in the tournament."
The Bulldogs won for the 13th time in 16 contests and head into tournament play on a high note.
"I'm glad we had a game like this," Hunt said, "next week, you never know what's going to happen in a tournament game. This one might help us in the long run."
Cumberland took advantage of 11 walks issued by three Bryan (29-25) hurlers, with four of those runners as well as one hit batter crossing the plate.
Byrd delivered the two big blows for the Bulldogs, with a grand slam in the third inning capping a six-run frame that tied the contest.
He belted his second grand slam in the next inning, putting the Bulldogs ahead for good.
Byrd finished with three hits and eight RBIs and is just the second CU player in the last decade to hit two grand slams in a game, joining Phillip Cuadrado, who did it from both sides of the plate in the same inning in 2004.
Eight Cumberland hurlers limited the Lions to just four hits after the second inning, with freshman Andrew Woodfin (1-0) picking up the win with 2.1 scoreless innings of relief.
The righthander walked one batter but did not allow a hit and struck out two.
The Lions had just one other good scoring chance after the seventh inning, loading the bases with no outs in the eighth inning, but Garrett Treadwell struck out Tyler Latham and Anthony Gomez got strikeouts of the next two hitters to end the threat with CU holding a 12-7 advantage.
Bryan starter Hunter Tipton (2-3) suffered the loss, giving up 11 runs on eight hits in 3.2 innings. He walked four and did not strikeout a batter.