Griffin gets 300th win at C-N as Eagles blast Brevard

VIDEO: Tom Griffin Interview

VIDEO: Eric Lynch Interview

BREVARD, N.C. – Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin picked up his 300th win at Carson-Newman as the Eagles earned 18-9 and 6-3 wins Saturday afternoon at Gil Coan Field completing a three-game sweep of Brevard.

"I give thanks to God that I'm able to do what I do," Griffin said. "I'm blessed and grateful every day that I get up that God has given me this opportunity. I know I'm not deserving of it but I'm really appreciative. Coach Gary Rundles gave me a chance to come to Carson-Newman a long time ago and I learned a great deal from coach Rundles. He helped me grow a lot as a man more than as a coach.

"I've been blessed with great coaches and assistants. I don't think it's easy to be honest to play for me in our system. We expect a lot from guys as far as discipline and doing things the right way. We do it for a purpose and that purpose is to be better husbands, better workers and better servants. I can't thank my wife and kids enough because I certainly have the best wife and kids in the world to allow me to do what I do."

In the three games against Brevard (6-14, 1-5), Carson-Newman (13-5, 3-0) piled up 36 runs, the most in a three-game series since scoring 43 against Lenoir-Rhyne on March 19-20, 2010.

The Eagles have picked up sweeps in the opening series of South Atlantic Conference action in four of the last five seasons while the three victories at Brevard in the first sweep at Gil Coan Field since March 11-12, 2011.

The two victories Saturday extends C-N's winning streak to 10 games marking the first double-digit winning streak for the Eagles since reeling off 11 in-a-row from March 17-29, 2010.

"We fight," Lynch said. "I really like our approaches this year. I feel like we strike out a lot less as a team. Put the ball in play and if you can do that you can make things happen."

Game One – Carson-Newman 18, Brevard 9

The Eagles scored their most runs of the 2016 season and the most runs against a SAC team since dropping Lenoir-Rhyne 21-5 at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex on March 20, 2010.

Carson-Newman came out out of the gates on fire as 13 men came to the plate in the top of the first frame with the Eagles scoring eight runs on five hits. The first six men reached base safely as RBI singles from senior third baseman Brandon Roberts (Davie, Fla.) and junior first baseman Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) plated the first two runs. Sophomore designated hitter Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) was hit by a pitch to bring home a run. A single to right field by junior catcher Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) scored a teammate. Back-to-back bases loaded walks to redshirt-freshman left fielder Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) and junior center fielder Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) made it 6-0. Roberts' second hit of the inning was a two-run single back up the middle to cap the eight-run inning.

With one out and nobody on in the top of the second inning, Snapp launched his fifth home run of the season on a 1-0 pitch that cleared the left-field fence. With two outs and two men on base, Addington lined a single to right field to push the score to 10-0.

Freshman right fielder Ian Pung (Knoxville, Tenn.) looped a double down the left-field line to score Roberts in the third inning and make it an 11-0 game.

The Eagles struck for seven more runs in the top of the fourth inning with 11 batters coming to the dish to extend the advantage to 18-0. A single to center field by Roberts and a base hit to right by Kirby started the scoring. Junior second baseman Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) was hit by a pitch to bring in a run. A single by Snapp, an error and a base hit by Jones added three more with the inning wrapping up on a bases loaded walk issued to Addington.

Brevard responded with nine straight runs with four coming in the fifth inning and five in the seventh inning. Hunter Donaldson cranked a three-run home run to right field with two outs in the fourth on a 1-0 pitch. Pinch hitting, Blaine Durham drove a 2-1 offering over the left-center field wall for a three-run blast. After retiring the first two batters he faced in relief Philip Pardue (Knoxville, Tenn.) walked a batter and gave up a home run to left field by Caleb Jones to pull Brevard within nine runs.

Roberts became the first Eagle this season with four hits going 4-for-6 with four RBIs and three runs scored. Kirby and Jones each went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Snapp went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and three runs scored.

Senior right-hander Dustin Batson (Pisgah Forest, N.C.) improved to 2-1 on the season working 6.1 innings while giving up seven earned runs on 10 hits with three strikeouts and one walk.

Brevard used five pitchers with Kyle Pittman going six frames and allowing just one hit with five punch outs after the first four pitchers gave up 18 runs and 15 hits with five walks.

Game Two – Carson-Newman 6, Brevard 3

The Eagles loaded the bases in the top of the first inning but scored just one run on a squeeze bunt Lynch up the first-base line to score Addington.

Brevard put a run on the board in the bottom of the third inning when Brennan Allen was hit by a pitch. A two-base throwing error by C-N starting pitcher Ryan Eberle (Cookeville, Tenn.) put Allen at third base. Christian Dix singled to right field to even the score at one.

Lynch led off the top of the fourth frame with a solid base hit to left field and stole second base. Lynch was still on second with two outs when Jones skied a pop up to shallow left field. Parker Hubbard overran the ball and it dropped on the grass to score Lynch and put C-N on top 2-1.

After a sacrifice fly by Lynch in the fifth, the Eagles tacked on a pair of runs in the sixth on a single back up the middle against a drawn-in infield by Rice to boost the lead to 5-1.

A hit batter and a single led off the Brevard sixth inning. After a fly out, one run scored on a single to right field by Ryan Smith. A throwing error by catcher Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) trying to pick off a runner at third hit the runner and skipped away from Roberts to allow a run to cross the plate and pull the Tornados within two at 5-3.

Addington added an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning with a sacrifice fly to center field to score Pung.

Eberle (3-1) went five innings scattering three hits and one walk while giving up two runs, one earned run with three stirkeouts.

Addington and Jones each had a multi-hit day going 3-for-4 with three runs scored and 2-for-2 with an RBI respectively.

Brevard starting pitcher Tyler Konzen (1-2) went the distance allowing six runs, five earned runs on 10 hits, three walks while striking out seven.

A six-game homestand begins for the Eagles Tuesday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex when Lee comes to town for a 2 p.m. first pitch. Broadcast coverage starts at 1:50 p.m. with the pregame show on as the Eagle Sports Network provides audio and video streams.

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