By Steve LeMaster
April 1, 2014
PIKEVILLE – After the opening game of the Mid-South Conference series was rained out, the University of Pikeville and Cumberlands baseball teams got in a doubleheader on Sunday with each team grabbing a win at Davis Park.
It was the first time this season that the Bears had moved a home game to the turf field located within the city-owned Hambley Athletics Complex due to rain making Johnnie LeMaster Field unplayable. UPIKE (18-16, 6-8 MSC) took a close 4-3 win in the opener, but the Patriots (19-13, 5-9 MSC) bounced back for an 8-1 win in the finale.
In the tight game one, starter Zak Sutherland (4-2) was crucial for the Bears. He lasted all nine innings, allowing just five hits for three runs with five strikeouts. Cumberlands led 3-2 after the fourth inning, but Sutherland shut it down the rest of the way to allow UPIKE to complete the comeback.
Staring at a 3-0 deficit, the Bears got rolling in the fourth with a groundout by Corey Adams that scored pinch runner Scottie Whitaker. With two outs, designated hitter Sean Ryan hit an RBI single to right field to make it 3-2.
The tying run came in the next inning as it was first baseman Nicolas Gonzales stepping up with an RBI single to right field this time and suddenly the win was back in the hands of Sutherland and UPIKE.
After two scoreless frames, the Bears sent across the winning run in the eighth as third baseman Erik Manning laced a double before being replaced by shortstop Chaz Contreras. It was Manning’s first hit of the game, while Contreras went 2-for-4 with a double.
Designated hitter Zach McRoberts drew a one-out walk in the ninth for the Patriots, but the next batter hit into a 4-6-3 double play to bring the game to a close. Kevin Schubert took the complete-game loss, dropping to 5-2 overall after allowing four runs on eight hits.
Pikeville outhit the Patriots 8-5 in the win, but the script was flipped in game two as Cumberlands got hot and turned in a 15-5 hit advantage on its way to the 8-1 win. Scoring a single run in five of the first six innings, the Patriots led 5-1 heading into the seventh and final inning.
Trailing 3-0 for a second straight game, UPIKE got on the board with a groundout by Adams in the fourth inning once again. But Adams’ hit didn’t spark a comeback this time around as it stood up as the lone run for the Bears.
Instead, Cumberlands added five runs over the next three innings to earn the split, finishing the rally off with a three-run seventh on four hits. Corey Gilligan (3-3) took the loss, scattering seven hits for three runs in 3-2/3 innings, while T.J. Campbell (3-0) stayed undefeated after giving up a run on five hits in seven innings.
Pikeville will be back on the diamond at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Berea.
Pikeville 4, Cumberlands 3
Chaz Contreras: 2-4, RBI, 2B, R
Brad Andrews: 1-3, R, BB, 2 SB
Zak Sutherland: 9 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 5 Ks, 2 BB
Erik Manning: 1-4, R, 2B
Cumberlands 8, Pikeville 1
Nicolas Gonzales: 2-3
Corey Adams: 1-3, RBI, 2B
Chaz Contreras: 1-3, R, SB