But a ray of sunshine named Jordan Hunt parted the clouds with a two-out grand slam down the left-field line of Winterholter Field to put the Phoenix in front and Andy Garretson finished off his first career win in the ninth as Cumberland collected an 8-7 win over Northwestern (Iowa) College in the NAIA Baseball Championships Opening Round on Tuesday.
Cumberland climbed to 35-20 and will play host Taylor at 11 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, a game originally scheduled for Tuesday night but rescheduled following the weather delay.
Garretson took over for starter Travis Dohr following the delay one out into the top of the fifth inning with Northwestern ahead 7-2 and held the Red Raiders to a run on four hits and a walk while striking out nine.
Meanwhile, Cumberland’s bats came around in the fifth with Mykel Gordon’s two-run double down the left-field line to bring the Phoenix within 7-4.
Hunt’s deciding blow was set up with a pair of two-out walks to Jared Schmidt and Hector Morales sandwiched around a single by Caleb Kellogg to fill the bases.
Northwestern turned a hit batter, a wild pitch and a single into a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning.
Cumberland went up 2-1 in the home half on Schmidt’s two-run single to right field.
Northwestern outhit Cumberland 9-7. Gordon and Hunt each had two hits for the Phoenix.
Matt Martin had three hits and Dustin Gaither two for Northwestern, which received three RBI from Ben De Boer - a squeeze during a two-run fourth inning and a two-run single to center in a four-run fifth.