Cumberland Baseball falls in Region Semis; Await At-Large Bid for World Series

Cumberland is currently 43-5 and now needs an At-Large bid to the World Series for their 2019 to continue
Cumberland is currently 43-5 and now needs an At-Large bid to the World Series for their 2019 to continue

The Cumberland Dukes Baseball team entered the 2019 Region XIX Final Four in the midst of the program's best season with a 42-3 record including the 1st round sweep over Ocean County.  Leading the charge was the team's pitching staff that carried one of the country's best ERA and arguably the top pitcher in the country in Michael Miles.

Miles would take the ball in the opening game of the Final Four against the Brookdale Jersey Blues and put the Dukes on his back. The sophomore righthander would pitch 8 sterling innings, scatter 5 hits and strike out 11 Brookdale hitters.  Offensively, the Dukes would be lead by Ja'Ques Colon who would notch 4 hits on the day and score 3 runs. Ryan McIsaac (2 hits, 3 RBIs) and Dylan Scaranda (2 hits, 2 RBIs) would pitch in as well followed by Tyler Knox who would tally 3 hits on the day. Cumberland would go on to a commanding 6-0 victory.

In Game 2, the Dukes would be left wondering where it all went wrong. After giving up 2 early runs to rival Rowan-Gloucester, the Dukes would answer with a run in the bottom of the 1st. Any momentum the Dukes felt, quickly disappeared as the Roadrunners went on an insurmountable offensive run and would leave Cumberland far behind. Despite Donnie Stone going 2 for 2 in Game 2, Cumberland would fall 21-1 in 5 innings.

In the elimination game against Brookdale, Cumberland looked to be in control and headed to their 5th Regional Championship game in 6 years with a 4-1 lead going into the 8th inning. However, the Jersey Blues started to catch up to Joseph Nestel, who was the Dukes starter and had one of the best performances of his career. The UMBC commit went 7.2 innings while scattering 8 hits and striking out 7 batters. The Cumberland bullpen would be unable to hold the Jersey Blues in check as they went on to score 2 runs in the 8th and the tying run in the 9th to send the game into extra innings. The Dukes had a chance to end the game in the 10th as Ja'Ques Colon made his way into scoring position, however, the Dukes were unable to cash in.  The Jersey Blues would then score 3 in the 12th, which Cumberland would not be able to overcome en route to a 7-4 defeat.

Now Cumberland awaits a potential At-Large selection to return to the NJCAA World Series in Greenville, Tennessee. World Series seeding as well as the at-large selection are expected to be released on the morning of Tuesday, May 21.