SMITHFIELD – Cumberland High survived injuries to its starting pitcher and catcher on Friday to outlast Smithfield 6-5 in eight innings.
“This was a great team effort,” Cumberland coach Paul Murphy admitted. “Our starting pitcher, Hayden Namaka, hurt his hand and left in the third inning. Eric Murray, who had pitched only one inning this season, took over and gave us five good innings. And then our catcher, Matt Billington, got hurt and we replaced him with Matt Bare in the fourth inning.”
Smithfield held a 4-3 lead after three innings. Cumberland rallied to tie the game at 4-4 in the fourth and 5-5 in the sixth, setting the stage for its winning rally in the eighth inning off Smithfield ace Kyle Morvan, who came on to pitch in the fourth inning.
With two outs in the eighth, Matt Lazarus singled for his fifth hit in as many plate appearances. He then stole second, went to third on a wild pitch, and came home on another wild pitch.
Justin Patrick took over for Murray in the bottom of the eighth and picked up the save.
“This was a great win over a very competitive Smithfield team,” Murphy said.
Cumberland is now 3-2 in league play while Smithfield fell to 2-3.