After Josh O'Neill's complete game shutout in the opening game of the tournament, sophomore and First-Team All-Region XIX selection Cody Stashak turned in a memorable performance on the NJCAA's biggest stage. In a 7-1 win over St. Cloud Technical and Community College, Stashak tossed 8 and 2/3 innings, allowing only one run on two hits and striking out a season-high eleven batters.
After getting the first two outs in the final frame, Stashak hit the next batter and then walked off the field to a well-deserved standing ovation. The starter was electric all night, digging deep and sitting down Cyclone hitters with ease.
Sophomores Anthony Lopez and Tim Gallagher led the way on offense, each driving in two runs apiece. Gallagher also crossed the plate twice on a one-for-one evening including four walks. Lopez's first RBI came on a monster shot off of the fence in the deepest part of the ballpark for a double.
Sophomore Catcher Devin McCann excited the Dukes crowd and his fellow teammates when he ripped an RBI triple down the right-field line that scored Justin Geri in the second inning. That 2-0 lead after two held until the Dukes added two more in the top of the seventh. Lopez knocked in Robert Bunton on a single up the middle and Gallagher came home on a balk from the St. Cloud pitcher with the bases loaded.
Cumberland added two more in the eighth and one in the ninth on an Arturo Ocasio RBI single that plated Jordan Glover. Sounds similar huh? That is because the Dukes tacked on three runs in the final two innings to tally seven runs in the opening game v. Waubonsee.
The combination of great pitching and timely hitting has placed Cumberland one win away from the Championship Game and two wins away from claiming the program's first ever national championship.
Advancing to the title game won't be easy, as the host team Tyler Junior College stands in the way. The Apaches dismantled Northern Essex Community College by a score of 17-2 to advance in the 4PM matchup this afternoon. Tyler and Cumberland will face off in front of a Tyler-heavy crowd Monday Night. The game is set to start at 7PM.
Cumberland v. St. Cloud Video Archive (Full Game)