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Phoenix fall in doubleheader vs. No. 22 F-H

Apr. 10—Cumberland dropped both games of last Saturday's Mid-South Conference doubleheader against No. 22 Freed-Hardeman, 6-3 and 11-7, respectively, at Woody Hunt Stadium/Ernest L. Stockton Field.

Both teams went without a hit for the first three half-innings before Cumberland was able to break the goose egg. Riley Light walked to lead off the inning and back-to-back singles from Zo Zuniga and Seth Sweet-Chick loaded the bases.

With everything looking to be going the way of the Phoenix, Houston High was able strike out back-to-back Cumberland batters and stall the game for one more inning.

Finally breaking open the ballgame, the Phoenix found their most success in the bottom of the third. All with two outs, Dee Triplett and Riley Light were able to reach bas on a walk and error, respectively.

With two runners on base and a home-run slump to break, Preston Welchel stepped up and hit a no-doubter over West Spring Street past right field. The three-run homer put the Phoenix ahead and pulled momentum back onto CU's side.

The Lions drew some of that momentum right back onto their side straight away the next frame though, hitting a no-doubt home of their own. As the tension in the stadium grew, the Lions kept fighting, sending a runner home on a wild pitch from Alex Smith.

Smith calmed things down though and allowed just the one run, but the game sat at 3-2 after the Lion's effort. After the offensive outbursts from each team, there was again two more innings of no-hit ballgame, as Thomas Wilhite came in and shut Freed down.

The Lions were the next team to find their way onto the board, scoring two runs in the top of the sixth. Two doubles to start the inning pushed across a runner early and a pair of bunts followed to score one more, giving FHU a 4-3 lead.

The game continued in the favor of Freed, who scored two more runs in the top of the seventh to give themselves a win in the second of the three game series.

In between games, Cumberland recognized its 2014 national championship team, welcoming 20 former members of the Phoenix baseball program.

The final game of the series picked up right where the second game ended as the Lions put up two runs in the top of the first, all after two outs. Freed shut down the Phoenix in the bottom of the inning and continued to pour it on their next two innings, scoring two more runs in the second and three in the third, to lead 7-0.

Similar to the second inning of the last game, the Phoenix again loaded the bases, and again the Lions got themselves out of the jam. Everything continued to go against the Phoenix, as Freed again added runs the following inning, making the game 9-0 for FHU.

Eventually Cumberland would be able to add runs to the board, as Daniel Schweitzer started a rally in the bottom of the fifth with a solo shot over the left field fence. Trenton Duchscher followed that effort with a double into the gap and the Phoenix looked to have something working.

Joseph Rodriguez ran for Duchscher and a single to left center from Brandon Boxer was able to score him. Stealing second base, Boxer was then pushed over to third from a Stoney Smith single to nearly the same spot, making it a 9-2 gap.

Back-to-back doubles to lead off the next inning helped to keep decreasing the gap, as Rafael Garcia and Seth Sweet-Chick got their bats hot. Sweet-Chick's effort scored Garcia and Dee Triplett was able to score another run in the inning, creeping closer, 9-5.

Freed added one more run the next inning, lengthening their lead, but the Phoenix were not far behind their tails. Duchscher led off the sixth inning with a single to left field and kicked off a rally.

Joseph Rodriguez stole second base and Tim Holyk launched a homer over the right field fence to make it just a three run game. FHU found yet another answer, scoring in the top of the ninth, and the game would end with that score, 11-7.

Cumberland will play again this weekend in MSC action, taking on Bethel in McKenzie. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday.