LEWISTON, Idaho – Playing under the lights for the first time this season, the Hawks were unable to capitalize on the big stage in their first NAIA World Series game as they were defeated by Cumberland (Tenn.) University 9-1 Friday night.
With the loss, the Hawks will play No. 6 seed Georgia Gwinnett tomorrow at 12 p.m. as the Grizzlies lost to the No. 3 seed Oklahoma Wesleyan 2-1 in the game prior. The Bulldogs will take on World Series host and No. 2 seed Lewis-Clark in the nightcap starting at 6:30.
The Bulldogs started the scoring early in the game as they scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning and knocked four hits off of San Diego Christian starter Gabriel Hemmer. Two doubles Cumberland delivered four straight hits before Hemmer retired his first out but settled down to strike out the side. A wild pitch gave the Bulldogs a 3-0 lead after one complete inning.
Cumberland scored two more in the bottom of the second off a double from Brady North for a 5-0 lead.
The Hawks were unable to manufacture their first run in the third inning. A leadoff single by Michael Stowers was then followed with a sac bunt from Christian Johnson. After a walk in five pitches to Cade Gotta, Chad Erickson hit a deep fly ball to right to advance Stowers to third on the fly out.
A Jeff Lusardi walk loaded the bases for the Hawks and Peter Hoyt with two outs. Hoyt then hit a fly ball to center for the third out. Bulldog's center fielder Justin Byrd ran down the ball after he initially slipped on the turf in center to prevent the Hawks from scoring a run.
San Diego Christian did finally get their first run of the game in the top of the seventh. Stowers hit a ball towards the middle of the diamond but shortstop Tyler Anderson made a diving stop to prevent the ball from going to the outfield as he collected and threw out Eichhorst at second. Viera came in to score from third as the Hawks trailed 7-1.
The Bulldogs went on to score xx more runs in the game.
Cumberland chased Hemmer after five complete innings as he was recorded with the loss. San Diego Christian's ace gave up seven runs, five earned, six hits and five walks while striking out eight. Steven Bunnell worked an inning of relief, as David Johnson, Jake Sween and Codi Scanlon also appeared in relief for the Hawks.
San Diego Christian tallied four hits on their solo run. Four different Hawks recorded a hit. The Bulldogs scored their nine runs on 10 hits.