Cumberland Crushes Six Homers, Bryan falls to 14-2 on season
LEBANON, Tenn. – The high-scoring Bryan College baseball team came up short against Mid-South Conference opponent Cumberland University on the road Tuesday as the Phoenix had six of their 13 total hits travel over the fence and another go for a double as the Lions ultimately fell 15-8 in the shootout. Cumberland’s Rayden Sierra had a day as he picked apart Bryan for four bombs and eight RBI’s, going a perfect 4-for-4.
For Bryan, Rodney Tennie collected the only home run as he posted a solo shot for his first homer as a Lion. After an impressive last week that led to being named Appalachian Athletic Conference Player of the Week, Bryan’s Fernando Garcia led the attack for the Lions as he went 4-for-5 with two runs batted in and two runs scored. Trailing was Wade Weinburger who ended 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI’s and runs scored. Lake Burris was the only other Lion to collect a multi-hit performance with two hits and Bryan’s other RBI. David Scoggins, Cody Young, and Tyler Scott tallied one hit, respectively. Weinburger snagged a pair of stolen bases, while Garcia had one stolen bag.
It was a tough day for Bryan’s pitchers, as the Lions rotated through six. They started with Reece Roach who hurled one inning and allowed four hits and five runs with one walk and three strikeouts. Zane Glass handled the next two frames, surrendering one hit and two runs, only one earned, while walking two and throwing three K’s. Joseph Cuomo, who was given the loss, moved his record to 3-1 after handling 2.1 innings and allowing four hits, four runs, two walks, and one strikeout. The next 1.2 innings were overseen by Dalton Ross, as Cumberland had only one hit and struck out twice during his time on the mound. Irvin Cespedes has a short spell, having three hits and four runs collected against him. The last inning was run by Miguel Lopez who avoided any runs scored against him, dealing one walk and one K.
Bryan, who has had a remarkable start to the season, received only their second loss as they now own an overall record of 14-2. Cumberland improved their overall mark to 9-5.
The Lions were the first to get on the board as they registered three runs in the first inning. The first was scored by Tennie when Garcia singled to right field. The next run came when Garcia distracted the Phoenix by stealing second, giving way to Weinburger stealing home. After advancing to scoring position at third, Garcia capitalized on a wild pitch, putting Bryan on top 3-0. Unfortunately, the solid start for the Lions was countered by the Phoenix in the bottom of the frame when Sierra locked in for his first homerun of the outing, scoring three runs to even the score. Another homerun, this time a two-run shot, propelled Cumberland in front for a 5-3 advantage.
Bryan came back with a run in the top of the second, cutting the deficit to one when Weinburger grounded out to second, allowing Scott to come home.
Once again, Sierra went the distance on the second pitch sailed his way, but this time no other players were on. The combination of a wild pitch and a throwing error by Bryan resulted in Cumberland tacking on another run as they closed out the third inning with a 7-4 advantage.
The Lions applied pressure by putting up two runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, snagging their first lead since the top of the first. Tennie homered to right and Burris scored Garcia on an RBI single for a pair of runs in the fourth. Weinburger drove in Prentice Young with a single to right, and Garcia followed with an RBI single sent the opposite way that scored Weinburger for two more in the fifth, launching the Lions in control 8-7.
The lead was short-lived though, as Sierra took it upon himself to end Bryan’s rally and tie the game at 8’s with a solo shot to left on a 3-1 count.
Over the last four innings, the Lions were held without a run while the Phoenix went on to score three more in the sixth and cap the eighth with four. In the sixth, Cumberland used a solo homerun and a two-run single to score their three runs. Sierra stunned Bryan with his second three-run long shot in the eighth. The Phoenix had one more run scored on a fielder’s choice in the inning as they went on to claim the 15-8 victory over the Lions.
Bryan will put the trip to Cumberland behind them and now focus on this weekend’s AAC-opening series at home against Truett McConnell University (Ga.) with a single-game on Friday, Mar. 2 at 5pm followed by a doubleheader on Saturday, Mar. 3 starting at 1pm. The Bears will be entering the three-game series on a recent hot streak, winning four of their last five games.