MARS HILL, N.C. – The Carson-Newman Eagles baseball team (13-8, 9-2 South Atlantic Conference) split a Saturday doubleheader against the Mars Hill Lions (5-14, 3-6 South Atlantic Conference) at Henderson Field with the Eagles taking the first game 13-2 while the nightcap belonged to the Lions in eight innings 6-5.
Carson-Newman's Bo Ausmus homered in both games for Carson-Newman, and Kevin Franchetti had a five-RBI day with a 3-3 performance in the first game of the twinbill.
The teams will play a rubber match in Sunday's game at 1 p.m. Starting Sunday's game will be sophomore right-hander Quinton Yocom (2-1, 2.81 ERA).
Game One – Carson-Newman defeated Mars Hill 13-2
The Eagles scored 13 runs on 17 hits to power past the Lions 13-2 in the nine-inning lidlifter of the doubleheader.
Carson-Newman starter Chris Armstrong (4-2) earned the win for the Eagles after tossing five innings while giving up a pair of runs on three hits while walking three batters and striking out five. Mars Hill starter Caleb Edwards (1-4) took the loss after getting rocked for eight runs on eight hits during his three innings on the mound.
The Carson-Newman onslaught began in the top of the first as the Eagles scored six runs on five hits to take a 6-0 lead before the Lions came to the plate. Reigning SAC Player of the Week Bo Ausmus picked up where he left off by giving Carson-Newman a 2-0 lead on a two-RBI double to centerfield. The Eagles also saw an RBI triple from Cody Fox, an RBI single for Shade Jett, and a two-run homer for Bryan Everhart to cap the six-run first inning.
Franchetti continued his damage at the plate by hitting a two-run homer in the eighth that put the Eagles on top 8-0. The Lions got their only two runs in the game in the bottom of the third.
Carson-Newman added a run in the fourth, and then single runs in the sixth and seventh before Ausmus hit a two-run homer in the eighth to put the score at 13-2, which would be the final.
Franchetti finished his day 3-for-3 with 5 RBI and a homer, nearly identical to his 3-for-3 performance with 5 RBI and two homers a week ago against Lenoir-Rhyne. Ausmus was 3-for-5 with his homer and two-RBI, while Everhart also shined with a 2-for-4 performance with two-RBI and a run scored.
After Armstrong pitched the first five innings, the Eagle bullpen of Evan Faithfull, Clayton Eames, and Lucas Watson combined to pitch the final four innings in scoreless fashion.
Game Two – Mars Hill defeated Carson-Newman 6-5
Carson-Newman dropped the second game of the doubleheader 6-5 to Mars Hill as the contest went to extra-innings with the Lions getting the winning run in the bottom of the eighth.
The Lions won on a walkoff homer by Phillip Carroll in the last of the eighth off Carson-Newman reliever Dustin Dunagan (0-2) who took the loss. Mars Hill reliever Andy Runion (1-2) earned the win after working a scoreless top of the eighth.
The Eagles were down to their last out in the top of the seventh when Ausmus hit a two-run homer to left to tie the game at five. It was the second homer of the day for Ausmus, who also hit one out in the first game of the doubleheader.
After Mars Hill took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, the Eagles scored a pair of runs in the top of the third with Zach Long hitting a two-run homer to left field.
The Lions bounced back with a pair of RBI singles in the bottom of the third to retake the lead, as Mars Hill went ahead 3-2.
The Eagles tied the game in the top of the fifth as Ausmus hit an RBI double down the left field line to score Philip Duncan from second. A Jacob Rand two-RBI double for Mars Hill gave the Lions a 5-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth, setting up the late-inning dramatics at Henderson Field.
After Ausmus' homer tied the game, the Lions didn't score in the bottom of the seventh, setting up extra innings. The Carroll walkoff homer evened the series at a game apiece to set up a rubber match in Sunday's finale at 1 p.m.
Carson-Newman starter Alex Britt only worked two innings for the Eagles, giving up three runs on six hits with a walk and a pair of strikeouts. Ryan Fillers took over and worked the next three and two thirds innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Ausmus finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBI and he collected five runs batted in between the two games. Ausmus was the only Eagle with a multi-hit game in the second game of the doubleheader.
Mars Hill was led at the plate by Adam Daniel who went 3-for-3 with an RBI and Rand also went 3-for-3 with a run scored.