The Phoenix led 4-1 against their long-time Tennessee Rivals before the Lions roared back. Wes Brooks’ two-run single brought Freed to within a run and DeMikyle Holmes’ two-run double put them ahead.
In the sixth, former Lebanon High star Bryce Lester began the blowout with a two-run single to chase CU starter Polo Portela. Brooks greeted reliever Blake Young with a two-run homer. Griffin Siebert’s RBI double chased Young.
Josh Sears’ home run to left field staked Freed-Hardeman to a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Cumberland came back with a Jared Schmidt home run over the center-field fence to open the CU second. Caleb Kellogg singled and scored on Hector Morales’ sacrifice fly foulout for a 2-1 Phoenix lead.
Carlos Moseley’s two-run homer staked CU to the 4-1 lead in the top of the fifth.
Hector Morales homered in the eighth to bring the Phoenix within 11-5.
After Freed-Hardeman scored twice in the top of the ninth on home runs by Sears and Kaimana Ancog, Cumberland countered in the bottom half with Mykel Gordon’s three-run homer.
The Phoenix fell to 34-20 and will face Northwestern (Iowa) at 11 a.m. CDT Tuesday in an elimination game with the winner advancing to another game later in the day. Freed-Hardeman improved to 41-14 and will play in the winner’s bracket later Tuesday.
Freed-Hardeman outhit Cumberland 15-10. Schmidt, Morales and Jordan Hunt had two hits apiece for the Phoenix. Hunt, Morales and Nick Mira doubled.
In addition to his hit, Lester, a sophomore playing shortstop, walked and scored twice from the leadoff spot.
Portela took the loss to fall to 8-3.
Austin Steel survived eight innings for Freed to climb to 10-2.