GAFFNEY, S.C. – Carson-Newman struck early and often in a 19-7 victory in the first game of a Saturday afternoon doubleheader at Founders FCU Stadium before the bats went silent in a 3-0 blanking to Limestone in the nightcap.
"We played about as well as you could all around in game one," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "In game two, the pitching was good. Dalton Long threw the ball really well. We made some mental mistakes late in the game and didn't execute when you need to in the back end of the game."
The 19 runs scored by Carson-Newman (2-1) in the first game was the most runs scored in a seven-inning game since March 5, 2005 when the Eagles blew out Presbyterian 23-4 on the road.
GAME ONE: CARSON-NEWMAN 19, Limestone 7
The Eagles wasted no time getting out of the gates plating five runs in the opening frame. After a sacrifice fly and a fielder's choice, Tyler Thompson (Gallatin, Tenn.) slapped a two-run single through the right side of the infield. A steal, a passed ball and a wild pitch brought home the sophomore to cap the scoring.
The bats kept rolling the top of the second stanza as John Sharpe (Franklin, Tenn.) singled home Ethan Goforth (Blacksburg, Va.) top begin the frame. Jordan Griffin (Ellerslie, Ga.) followed by hitting a base hit into left field to score Sharpe. Back-to-back RBI doubles by Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) and Thompson made it a 9-0 contest.
Limestone (1-2) pulled within seven in the bottom of the second behind a one-out RBI single from Channing Painton and a sacrifice fly to center by Trace Whetsell. A fielder's choice ground out by Ben Huber but the tally to six at 9-3 in the third.
Griffin's team kept the pedal to metal in the fourth frame pushing six more runs across to extend the margin to 15-3. Thompson started the scoring with a base hit center field. Mark Treadway (Friendsville, Tenn.) roped a double down the left-field line to bring home two. An infield single by Michael Wroth (Chicopee, Mass.), a ground out from Micah Genter (Jasper, Tenn.) and a double by Goforth to left capped another scoring surge.
The crooked number theme continued in the top of the sixth as Carson-Newman added four more runs to make it a 19-3 contest. Genter walked to start the inning and Goforth followed by blasting a two-run dinger out of the park to left center. An RBI single from Cal Smith (Keller, Texas) and a walk to Dom Leo (Knoxville, Tenn.) added the finishing touches.
An RBI double in the bottom of the sixth by Cody Harris and a trio of unearned runs on two errors in the seventh allowed the Saints to add on four runs to make it 19-7.
All told, 11 Eagles scored a run and drove in at least one while 10 men racked up hits. Goforth led the charge from the top of the order with a 4-for-5 day, three RBIs and three runs scored.
Thompson was 3-for-3 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Campbell notched four hits and four runs scored while pushing across a pair.
Four pitchers combined to allow three earned runs as Kyle Cagle (Fairview, N.C.) was given the victory tossing four innings allowing three runs, two earned with four stirkeouts.
John Staab and Painton each had two hits with no Saint producing multiple RBIs or runs. Limestone needed six pitchers to tally 21 outs.
GAME TWO: LIMESTONE 3, Carson-Newman 0
In the nightcap, the Eagles could only muster two hits in the game, a Thompson lead-off double in the fifth and a two-out single from the center fielder in the seventh.
Payton Macpherson tossed a complete game shutout on the mound allowing two hits and two walks while punching out six batters.
Dalton Long (Powell, Tenn.) earned the start for C-N going 5 1/3 innings firing eight strikeouts while allowing two hits, two walks, two runs, one earned.
Trace Whetsell drew a walk in the bottom of the first frame and advanced to third on a base hit up the middle by Josh Evans. A ground out to second base by Ryan Creps gave the Saints a 1-0 edge.
C-N's defense made two errors in the bottom of the sixth allowing a runner to sit at second base with one out. Matt Hildebrandt single to left field and came around to score on a sacrifice fly Alex Cornell to seal a 3-0 win.
Thompson added a walk to his two hits on the day as Treadway was the only other Eagle to reach safely.
The Eagles tee up the final game of the opening weekend Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. as Griffin's crew looks to seal a series victory.
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