Cumberland handles San Diego Christian in Opening Day finale
LEWISTON, Idaho – (Box Score) Senior right-hander Jake Collier tossed a complete-game four-hitter and the Cumberland (Tenn.) offense scored five runs in the first two innings en route to a 10-1 victory over San Diego Christian (Calif.) in Game 4 of the 2014 Avista-NAIA Baseball World Series on Friday night at Harris Field.
Collier (9-3) stifled the offense of the seventh-seeded Hawks all night long, and No. 10 Cumberland touched up San Diego Christian starter Gabriel Hemmer (13-4) for seven runs (five earned) and capitalized on three errors by the Hawks in the victory.
With the win, Cumberland improves to 45-19 on the season and will play second-seeded Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) in a 6:30 p.m. PDT championship bracket contest on Saturday night. San Diego Christian falls to 42-19 with the loss and will play No. 6 Georgia Gwinnett in an elimination game at noon on Saturday.
“We beat a good team tonight and we beat a good pitcher, a guy that will be drafted,” Cumberland coach Woody Hunt said. “He has a good arm and a good slider. I thought we might have trouble with him, but we just got to him. We got his pitch count up pretty high and he just ran out of gas.”
Senior second baseman Sam Lind doubled off the left field wall off Hemmer in the first inning to drive in the Bulldogs’ first two runs of the game, as Chris Hall led off with a single and Rocky Coleman doubled down the right field line.
Cumberland tacked on a third run on a wild pitch.
“Sam’s big hit off the wall was a key for us against a good pitcher,” Hunt said. “After that we had a lot of confidence that we could swing the bat.”
Brady North doubled down the right field line to drive in two more runs in the second inning after a walk to catcher Bryan Haney and an intentional walk to Lind put runners on first and third with two outs.
Haney also impacted the game from behind the plate, throwing behind a San Diego Christian runner to pick him off first, as well as cutting down two runners attempting to steal.
The Bulldogs tacked on a pair of unearned runs in the fifth inning and piled on late against the Hawks bullpen while Collier was dealing on the mound.
He threw 126 pitches, striking out seven and walking three.
“Jake has been a workhorse for us,” Hunt said. “He’s not a hard thrower but really knows how to pitch. He’s in a groove right now and we hope we can get back to him.”
San Diego Christian scored its lone run in the seventh inning when Gilbert Viera scored on a fielder’s choice off the bat of Michael Stowers.