KINGSPORT, Tenn. – Shawnee State's Cody Strayer and Cumberland's Kevin T. Greene started the Mid-South Conference Baseball Tournament off with a pitcher's duel. Early runs would prove to be the difference as the top-seeded Bulldogs (38-15-1) edged out the Bears (29-27), 3-1. The Bears will now look to keep their season alive Friday morning against Rio Grande at 10 a.m.
Todd Queener singled to start the game for the Bears but Greene would get the next three hitters to start the game. Cory Urquhart would also single to start the bottom half of the first. Chris Hall followed with a single of his own while Craig Monson doubled into right field to make it 2-0 Bulldogs after the first inning.
After Greene retired the Bears in the top of the second inning the Bulldogs went right back to work in the bottom half of the inning. Tyler Anderson started the inning with a double to down the left field line. Richie Seaton followed with a single to hand Cumberland a 3-0 advantage.
Strayer (3-6) would settle into his own after allowing three runs on five hits in the first two innings. Strayer threw six straight shutout innings allowing only three hits after the quick start for the Bulldogs.
Trailing 3-0 heading to the top of the seventh the Bears broke through. Shawnee State scored their only run of the game on a two-out RBI single from Tyler Bice, cutting the deficit to 3-1. However, Greene was able to get Colin Keim to ground out in an inning ending double play.
The Bears will look to keep their MSC Title hopes alive tomorrow in the first consolation game. That game will be against fifth-seeded Rio Grande. In the regular season series, Rio Grande won two of the three games during the weekend series. Tomorrow's game will also start at 10 a.m.