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Cumberlands Captures MSC Baseball Tournament Championship

Baseball | Mon, May 9, 2022 at 5:50 PM

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – No. 2 seed Cumberlands won the 2022 Mid-South Conference baseball tournament championship with an 8-3 victory over top-seeded Freed-Hardeman at Bowling Green Ballpark.

With the victory, the Patriots (43-14) earn one of the conference’s automatic bid into the NAIA National Tournament. As the runner-up, the Lions (37-15) earn the conference’s second automatic bid. Cumberlands wins its second-consecutive tournament title and fifth overall.

Cumberlands struck first in the second inning. Sujel Arias led off the inning with a triple then Ray Villanueva drove him in to make it 1-0. Candido Encarnacion made it 2-0 with an RBI-single that scored Villanueva. 

Villanueva led off the top of the fourth with a single and then advanced to second on a balk. Back-to-back singles scored Villanueva to increase the Patriots’ lead to 3-0. Sean Cheely drove in a run to make it 4-0. 

The Lions would get on the board in the bottom of the fourth. Ryan Stark hit a lead off double and then came around to score on a William Kelley double to make it 4-1. Cumberlands added two more runs in the sixth to increase the lead to 6-1. 

Hunter Beecham led off the bottom of the seventh reaching on an error by the third baseman. After a flyout, Kent Rooklin hit a two-run home run to make it 6-3. Back-to-back one-out walks in the bottom of the eighth inning put runners on first and second for the Lions. Cumberlands then got the next two batters out ended the Freed-Hardeman threat. Cumberlands made it 8-1 on a Cheely two-run home run in the top of the ninth. 

Cumberlands had five different players record multiple hits led by Arias who had three. Garrett DeClue earned the win pitching 6-1/3 innings allowing three runs with two earned, seven hits, walking one and striking out nine. 

Stark and Kelley led the Freed-Hardeman offense with two hits apiece.  

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