BRISTOL, Tenn. – A short journey to King on Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. is what Carson-Newman hopes to use as a jumping board to getting back to early season form having lost six of its last seven contests.
The Eagles are 16-4 against non-conference teams so far this season averaging nearly nine runs per game in those affairs hitting 21 home runs while stealing 46 bases. On the rubber, the pitching staff is producing a 4.25 team earned run average punching out 190 batters over 163 innings of work.
Carson-Newman (18-10) has lost its last four road games, however, since winning at Mars Hill in both games of a doubleheader on March 2. The club is being outscored 25-13 in that stretch slanted heavily after a 6-0 setback against Catawba in the series finale on Sunday.
With 11 meetings in the books at King Baseball Field, C-N holds an 8-3 advantage in Bristol but lost its most recent jaunt to King (10-11) in 8-5 on March 20, 2018. Tom Griffin's crew has won eight of the last 11 overall.
The first time the two clubs met, C-N won 9-5 on its home field to improve to 19-9 in the all-time series. Matt Bradley tallied a save stranding the bases loaded in the ninth as the Eagles notched its eighth win in nine tries marking its best start to a year since 1999.
Tyler Shaver earned his first-career win in his second appearance firing 5 1/3 frames on the rubber with four earned runs on five hits and one walk with five punch outs. The bullpen combined for 3 2/3 stanzas yielding one run with six K's. Ethan Goforth and Malik Kyle each had two hits with Tyler Thompson and Kilian Daughtry tallying a pair of RBIs each.
Kevin Barbato and Austin Meyer each had two hits for the Tornado as Meyer also added a pair of walks to reach base four times. Four of the five hurlers for King allowed at least one run.
After winning six of seven games, the Tornado lost the final two games of the three-game set against 11th-ranked Mount Olive over the weekend. The squad is 8-5 at home this season compared to winning just twice in eight road trips.
Offensively the numbers are virtually the exact same but the pitching mound has been a different story with the team producing a 5.14 ERA at home versus an 8.71 clip when travelling. That theme has switched in March as the hurlers have a 4.97 ERA overall this month after racking up a 7.71 average over the first month of 2019.
At the plate the team can slug with the best racking up 49 doubles and 17 home runs as a unit to rank towards the top of the nation. Hunter Barbour and Barbato are among the nation's best with 11 two-baggers each so far. Tony Valdes ranks in the top 10 in Division II with 30 runs scored.
Three regulars have posted a batting average above .300 this season with Valdes leading the crew at .314 during his senior season. He is riding a seven-game hitting streak where he is 10-for-27 with nine runs scored.
Stay locked in with all of the activities surrounding the Eagles on their journey to King by following @CNathletics on Twitter for the latest details on the game action.
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