The Cumberland College Patriots pulled off a fantastic finish in the first-round of the NAIA Region XI Baseball Tournament in Lebanon, Tn. Wednesday when they came from behind to knocoked off #6 ranked Trevecca Nazarene, 6-5.
Trailing 5-1 entering the bottom of the 8th inning, the Patriots of coach Brad Shelton scored four runs to tie the game 5-5.
Shortstop Matt Mikolajczyk started the rally with a lead off double. First baseman Dan Guttridge was hit by a pitch and Drew Fahey loaded the bases iwht a bunt.
Senior Roman Cox kept the rally going with a two-run single up the middle as Cumberland pulled within 5-3. Chris Wood moved Fahaey and Cox in scoring position with a grounder back to the mound and Chaz Gentry hit a two-run single to right centerfield, tying the game.
Catcher Chris Cartas hit into a double play to end the inning.
Relief pitcher Jake Shaver held the TranSouth Conference champions in check in the top of the ninth then Cumberland came back to steal the win in the bottom of the inning. Aaron Ellis, hitting for Victor Wooldridge, led off the inning with a hit to right field. Tommy Guinn moved Ellis to second on a sacrifice bunt.
Mikolajcyk reached base on a catching error when he appeared to have struck out but the Trevecca catcher lost the handle on the ball and the Cumberland runner went to first. Ellis moved to third on the play. Dan Guttridge tried to get the sacrifice on a fly to shallow left field, but Ellis couldn’t get to home.
Fahey became the hero when he blooped the ball over the head of the pitcher and dove for first base. He was safe at first and Ellis scored for the upset victory.
In other games, Lambuth University trailed 7-1 and scored seven runs in the final three innings to pull off the second upset of the tournament, beating #13 ranked Campbellsville 8-7. Cumberland University rolled past Lynn University in the nightcap.
Teams will be back in action Thursday with Cumberland meeting Campbellsville at 3:30.
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