JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman Eagles baseball team (4-4) scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth to rally past the no. 7 Lander Bearcats (5-2) at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex on Tuesday afternoon.
The win is Carson-Newman's second over a ranked opponent in the past four games, as the Eagles beat no. 5 USC Aiken 8-0 last Friday.
"It's good win because of the quality people and quality program at Lander," said Carson-Newman head baseball coach Tom Griffin. "Our pitching and defense were outstanding today. Some of the plays our outfielders made today were outstanding and kept us in the game, as well as the job our bullpen did."
Carson-Newman's Ryan Fillers (1-0) earned the win by pitching the final two innings, while Lander reliever John Eric Haynes (0-1) took the loss. The Eagles trailed 2-1 going into the bottom of the eighth before rallying for four runs to lead for the first time in the game.
Lander scored the game's first run in the top of the second as first baseman Connor Lewis hit the first pitch he saw from Eagle right-hander Dustin Dunagan over the right field wall for a solo homer. The Eagles answered in the bottom of the inning, as Philip Duncan brought home Bo Ausmus with an RBI double. The two-bagger was the first hit of the year for Duncan as he evened the game at 1-1.
The Bearcats took a 2-1 lead in the top of the sixth on a Jeff May RBI double. May was the last batter faced by C-N starter Dunagan, who gave up two runs on five hits while walking two batters during his five innings on the mound.
The Eagle rally in the bottom of the eighth began with a Ausmus single. After Cody Fox walked, Duncan delivered his second hit of the day with a single off the left field wall. Bryan Everhart gave the Eagles a 3-2 lead with his two-RBI single into left field. The next batter, Evan Kirkpatrick, followed with a two-RBI single of his own to put the Eagles in front of the Bearcats 5-2.
Lander would get a run back in the top of the ninth, but with the go-ahead run at the plate, Fillers forced Lewis to ground out to second to end the game.
Ausmus, Duncan, and Everhart all had multi-hit games for the Eagles, with Everheart and Kirkpatrick both driving in two runs.
The Eagles continue their homestand tomorrow afternoon against the Maryville Scots at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex at 2 p.m. Coverage of the game is available on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network.