CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Hibraim Cordova homered twice and drove in seven runs, while teammate Jared Martin went 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles and two RBI to lead the University of the Cumberlands to a 14-5 win over the University of Rio Grande, Thursday night, in Mid-South Conference baseball action at VA Memorial Stadium.
Rio Grande (10-10, 1-5 MSC) lost for the third straight time and the fifth time in seven outings, while also dropping its fifth straight conference game.
Cordova, who entered the game hitting just .097 with no home runs and two RBIs for the season, clubbed a two-run home run in the third inning and added a three-run homer in the eighth for the Patriots, who improved to 8-7 overall and 1-3 in the MSC with their third straight win.
Cordova also had a run-scoring single in the sixth inning and drew a bases-loaded walk in the seventh inning.
Cumberlands scored twice in the first inning - one of five two-run innings enjoyed by the Patriots - and never looked back.
Blake Debacher and Claudio Valencia had two-out run-scoring hits against Rio junior starter Mike Deitsch in the first inning and Cordova added his two-run homer in the third to give the Patriots a 4-0 lead.
Rio got one of the runs back in the second on a run-scoring fielder’s choice grounder to second by sophomore Kyle Findley, but a two-run double by Martin in the fourth pushed the lead to 6-1.
The Patriots tacked on an unearned run in the fifth inning before the RedStorm countered with a run-scoring hit by senior Vince Perry and a sacrifice fly by sophomore Grant Tamane in the fifth to make it 7-3.
Cordova’s RBI single and a run-scoring groundout by Valencia in the sixth gave the Patriots a 9-3 lead and, after Rio scored another run thanks to a wild pitch in the bottom of the inning, Chas Hyde added an RBI double and Cordova had his bases-loaded walk in the seventh to push the UC advantage to 11-4.
Rio senior Zach Dumler drove home a run in the home half of the seventh to make it 11-5, before Cordova’s ninth inning three-run homer set the final score.
Victor Morel added two hits for Cumberlands, which tallied 14 hits off of four RedStorm hurlers.
Jonathan Paquet allowed eight hits and three runs over the first five innings to earn his first win of the season for UC.
Rio Grande finshed with 11 hits, including three by senior Kyle Perez and two each by Dumler and freshman Chris Ford.
Deitsch (1-3) allowed four hits and four runs in 2.1 innings in suffering the loss.
The two teams combined 19 runs, 25 hits and 17 walks. Both teams left 12 runners stranded on base in the 3-hour, 19-minute marathon.
The two teams will conclude their three-game series with a doubleheader on Friday afternoon. First pitch for the nine inning opener is set for noon, with a seven inning nightcap to follow.