WILLIAMSBURG, KY. — Seven became the lucky number for the Cleveland State Cougars Wednesday afternoon as they hit the road for a pair of baseball games with the University of the Cumberlands.
The Cougars ran their winning streak to seven in a row, sweeping a doubleheader from the Patriots, 13-5 in the first game and 11-4 in the second.
The Cougars got off the bus with their bats in hand and got the day off and running with six big runs in their first turn at the plate. Clay Hetland plated a pair of runs to start the scoring outburst, while Jared Davis knocked in a pair with one swing for a two-run dinger that put the Cougars out front 6-0.
Janson Roberson and Zach Janes singled in a run each and the Cougars scored three times in the third. Jammer Strickland plated a pair of runs with a double in the fifth and Roberson singled in two more in the sixth to round out the scoring for Cleveland State.
The Patriots plated a run in the first, added three more in the third on a pair of wild pitches and a fielder’s choice then added another run in the seventh on a groundout, but it wasn't enough as the Cougars took game one.
Former Bradley Bear Jordan Whitmire tossed five strong innings for the Cougars (20-15) to get the win, allowing only five hits and two earned runs. Matt Roueche and Kevin Carr pitched an inning each in relief. Russ Kaesar suffered the loss for the Patriots.
Three straight walks with two outs in the top of the first inning put Cleveland State in business to start game two. Brock Johnson picked up an RBI the hard way by getting plunked with the bases full of Cougars to give his team a 1-0 lead.
The Patriots took their only lead of the afternoon in their half of the first when Jon Leonard pushed a run across with a grounder to second base and Logan Simpkins singled in another to give the home team a brief 2-1 lead.
The Cougars quickly recaptured the advantage with eight big runs over the next three innings, including a five-run explosion in the top of the second. Janes drew a free pass with the bases loaded and Evan Speicher cleared the bases with a triple in the second. Another bases-loaded walk in the third pushed a run across before Janes and Speicher added another RBI apiece to their totals in the fourth to extend the Cleveland State lead to 9-2.
Ben LeMaster and Leonard each plated a run for the Patriots in the bottom of the fifth. The Cougars got those runs back in their last at bat in the seventh, when Johnson singled in two more to finish game two and the sweep for Cleveland State.
Raunel Perez picked up the win for the Cougars while Kegan Frederick, Jared Davis and Brandon Leonard all pitched in relief. Lu Reynolds took the loss for the Patriots.
The Cougars will host Motlow State for a three game series Saturday and Sunday starting at noon.