Cumberland ends season 32-27
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - St. Catharine College took advantage of nine walks and Tyler Devine drove in a pair of runs in a 7-4 victory over Cumberland in a "loser-out" game of the Mid-South Conference Baseball Championships Saturday at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Cumberland ended the season at 32-27 with the loss, eliminated in two games in the conference tournament for the second consecutive season.
The Phoenix scored four times in the third inning to take a 4-1 lead, with Gabe Lares, Yorko and Josh Croft each driving in runs and another coming across on a wild pitch. That was all for the CU offense, though, with Cumberland stranding a leadoff triple from Yorko in the sixth and then catching an unlucky bounce in the eighth that would have tied the contest.
Trailing 5-4, Yorko was hit with one out and pinch-hitter Nick McGrew doubled down the leftfield line with two outs. Yorko was off on the pitch, but the ball hit the warning track down the line and bounced into the CU bullpen. Yorko would have scored on the play but was forced back to third. He tried to score on a ball in the dirt later in the inning but was easily tagged out.
Joan Pena (7-4) posted the win for the Patriots (35-21), who advanced to take on Lindsey Wilson in another loser's bracket game later Saturday. The righthander allowed four runs on six hits with two walks and five strikeouts. He got a groundout and two strikeouts after Yorko's leadoff triple in the sixth, ending his day.
Jake McCoy struck out five batters in his six outs and was the beneficiary of the lucky bounce on McGrew's ground rule double. He picked up his 10th save of the year for SCC.
CU starter Mike Melendez gave up just one run on two hits through five innings before completely losing command, walking the first two batters of the sixth in what turned into a four-run Patriots frame. The lefthander allowed four runs on three hits in 5.1 innings with five walks and two strikeouts.
Sean Cruz (1-3) suffered the loss, giving up one unearned run on two hits in one-third of an inning.
Tyler Yorko was the only Cumberland player with multiple hits in the game, collecting three hits -- including a triple.
St. Catharine got on the board first when Evan Smith led off the third with a single through the left side and Carlos Cespedes walked before a sacrifice bunt by Reid Battles. Josh Wenning's chopper up the middle plated Smith and Wenning beat the throw for an infield hit.
Alfredo Bohorquez's squeeze bunt went back to the mound, though, and Melendez got the out at the plate. Melendez then snagged a hard grounder from Hector Quinones to limit the damage to just one run.
Cumberland got on the board in the bottom of the third, starting with a one-out walk to Kyle Allen. Pinch-runner Bo Saunders was off on a full-count pitch and Lares doubled into leftcenter, plating Saunders all the way from first.
Hector Viera grounded to short and Bohorquez's throw to first pulled Tyler Devine off the bag. Viera was initially called safe but after a meeting of all three umpires, the call was reversed. Ryan Dickison drew a two-out walk before Pena uncorked a wild pitch, allowing Lares to come across.
Yorko then singled to center, scoring Dickison, and Yorko took second on the throw, which got away, allowing the runner to advance to third. Croft followed with an RBI single to center, extending the CU advantage to 4-1.
Quinones and Nicco Lollio both walked to start the SCC sixth and a wild pitch pushed the runners to second and third. Devine's sacrifice fly to right plated a run and Drew Kissel's single to right scored Lollio, cutting the Cumberland lead to 4-3 and ending the day for Melendez.
Smith doubled against Cruz and pinch-hitter Santiago Arce also drew a free pass, loading the bases. Reid Battles singled off the glove of a diving Croft, scoring a run, but the second baseman threw out pinch-runner Jamall Wilson at the plate. Battles stole second and Allen's throw got away, allowing Cespedes to score on the play for a 5-4 SCC edge.
Cumberland looked to tie the contest in the bottom of the inning after a leadoff triple from Yorko, but Croft grounded to second with a drawn-in infield and Simmons and Melendez both struck out to end the threat.
St. Catharine plated two very important runs in the ninth, starting with a single to the right side by Battles, who went to second on a groundout by Wenning. Bohorquez was intentionally walked and Quinones bounced into a fielder's choice, a nice play in the six-hole by Viera.
Lollio also drew a free pass, loading the bases, and Allen tried to pick off the runner at first, but the throw got away, allowing Bohorquez to score. Devine then singled to left, plating another run for the final score.