Late rally falls shy as eight-run fifth sinks C-N

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YOUNG HARRIS, Ga. – Carson-Newman put the tying run on base with no one out in the top of the ninth but could not bring the runners around as Young Harris's eight-run fifth inning held up in an 8-6 C-N loss at Zell B. Miller Field Tuesday.

"It was one inning where whatever could go wrong went wrong," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "They did a good job with two strikes competing with their at-bats. The way our team responded later in the game was tremendous. The scoreboard didn't dictate how we played. Our guys put some good at-bats together. We had the tying run sitting at second base in a game where you were down 8-0 - anyone would take that opportunity.

"The guys that came off of the bench had great at-bats. Some of the relievers who hadn't gotten as much work this season got their feet wet. The conditions weren't great for either team with the wind blowing in. We are never happy with a loss, but pleased with their efforts and attitudes."

It was the third all-time meeting with the Mountain Lions with the Eagles unable to win. Young Harris (12-7) has taken down Carson-Newman (16-4) in each meeting.

Griffin's crew settles for a school-record tying win total through 20 games with the 1999 team that opened the season 16-3-1.

The Eagles were wearing the orange uniform tops in the game. It is the uniform the club has worn in all four of its losses this season going 5-4 when wearing orange and 11-0 in other uniform tops. The unit was 16-6 in 2017 in orange but are 12-11 over the last two years in the combo compared to a 32-15 mark the other combinations.

Young Harris had one hit, its only base runner, through four innings before bursting for the highest scoring inning yielded by the Eagles this season in the bottom of the fifth. A double and a single started the frame with the scoring starting on a double to left field Corley Reynolds. The next four runs came in with the ball not leaving the infield. An infield single, a bunt single and an error aided the scoring barrage.

A walk and a hit batter preceded a base hit down the right-field line by Reynolds bookended the outburst as the Mountain Lions left the bases loaded.

Carson-Newman saw the first three men reach to start the top of the seventh inning. Ethan Goforth (Blacksburg, Va.) hit a sacrifice fly to center field and John Sharpe (Franklin, Tenn.) followed with a run-scoring base hit back up the middle. After a hit batter, Tyler Thompson (Gallatin, Tenn.) was plunked to pull the visitors within an 8-3 score. A ground out to second stranded the bases loaded.

A comeback started simmering in the top of the ninth. A walk, a base hit and a hit batter loaded the bases. Mark Treadway (Friendsville, Tenn.) reached on an infield single and Thompson was hit by a pitch to make it an 8-5 affair. McLain Harris racked up a punch out and a shallow fly ball to center field before Alan Silva (Sevierville, Tenn.) trickled a single into center field. With the go-ahead at first base, Cal Smith (Kellar, Texas) dribbled a 2-2 pitch to first to end the game.

On the day Goforth went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and Sharpe went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored while the rest of the hitters combined to go 4-for-27.

It came on a day where the team struck out just twice, its fewest of any game this season. The last time the team punched out fewer times came against Bluefield State on April 23, 2018 when just one batter struck out.

Tyler Shaver (Dandridge, Tenn.) was hit with the loss for the first time in his career allowing four earned runs on four hits and one walk over four frames. The final five pitchers used by C-N combined to throw four scoreless innings giving up four hits and three walks with three strikeouts.

Jake Tomelevage scored the win in relief firing three scoreless innings allowing one hit and one walk. Reynolds finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run. Bailey Campbell and Brett Hawkins also registered a pair of hits. 

The Eagles are back in action Wednesday afternoon against Bluefield State starting at 2 p.m. from the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex. Broadcast coverage can be found on in video and audio formats.

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