GAFFNEY, S.C. – Nine different players drove in at least one run and the Eagles scored eight unanswered runs in game two to seal an 11-6 season opening win and a 9-4 nine-affair to start the 2020 season Saturday at Founders FCU Stadium on Saturday.
"We swung it well in the first game," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "It was typical of a season opener. The energy was really good and the guys enjoyed the day. The way we came back in the second game says a lot about who we are. Even though we fell behind, we had a feel that we could get back in the game. Matt Bradley put up shutout numbers helped us mentally. Bryce Hanley made a great play with the winning run at third base. There were big plays made across the board that helped us get fired up. Tyler Shaver was wonderful in relief."
Mark Treadway (Friendsville, Tenn.) paced the team with five RBIs as five players had at least two runs driven in on the day. On the rubber, the team racked up 16 punch outs over 18 innings yielding nine earned runs across five different pitchers.
Carson-Newman (2-0) wins on opening day for the second straight season improving to 13-18 in the first game of the season since the 1990 season. It is the first time since 2008 and 2009 that the program wins its first affair of the year in consecutive campaigns.
Game One: CARSON-NEWMAN 11, Limestone 6
A single and a hit batter opened the bottom of the first frame for the Saints. After a wild pitch, a ground out and a fly out brought home the first two runs of the day to give Limestone a 2-0 lead.
Carson-Newman responded in a big way scoring five times in the top of the second stanza. A throwing error, a ground out and sacrifice fly put the Eagles ahead before Zach Boze (Gallatin, Tenn.) lined a two-run single to right-center field to make it a 5-2 contest.
Michael Wroth (Chicopee, Mass.) singled to center field to stretch the margin to 6-2 in the third. Limestone scored one run in each of the next three innings to put within one a 6-5 after five.
Griffin's group scored the next five runs of the game getting one in the sixth, three in the seventh and on more in the eighth headlined by run-producing singles from Treadway, Charlie Brown (Sevierville, Tenn.) and Kilian Daughtry (Simpsonville, Tenn.).
The Saints could only muster a sacrifice fly to right field in the bottom of the ninth before Hunter Long (Powell, Tenn.) struck out Michael Roberts looking to end the game.
Boze finished his first collegiate game by going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Treadway drove in three on the day with Daughtry and Brown adding two-hit performances.
Long threw a career-high five innings of relief to secure the victory scattering six hits and a walk while yielding two earned runs striking out a pair.
Brian Forbes went 3-for-5 to lead the Saints offensively with Benjamin Huber driving in two and Vance Deese crossing the plate three times.
Marcus Johnson took the loss surrendering six runs, three earned, over four innings giving up three hits and four walks.
Game Two: CARSON-NEWMAN 9, Limestone 4 (9 Innings)
The Eagles once again opened the scoring with Chris Caldwell (Seymour, Tenn.) provided his first hit of the season, a solo home run to center field with two outs.
Limestone responded in the bottom of the fourth scoring four times on a single from Trace Whetsell and a double from Forbes. A wild pitch and throwing error on a pick-off attempt pushed the deficit to 4-1.
Griffin's group started to put a dent in the margin on doubles from Treadway and Caldwell in the fourth to pull within a run at 4-3.
The Saints had a chance to win the game in the bottom of the eighth. With a runner at third base and one out, the Eagles elected to intentionally walk two batters to load the bases. Tyler Shaver (Dandridge, Tenn.) registered a strikeout and a ground ball to shortstop to keep the score tied.
Carson-Newman took advantage scoring five times in the top of the ninth starting with a two-run single to the gap in right-center field by Thompson to give the Eagles the lead. Daughtry and Eric Rigsby (Jonesboro, Tenn.) drove in a run a piece and a throwing error pushed the score to 9-5.
Thompson went 2-for-5 with three RBIs at the top of the lineup with Caldwell driving in a pair and scoring twice going 2-for-3 at the dish in his first career start.
Matt Bradley (Talbott, Tenn.) fanned nine batters over seven innings giving up four runs, three earned, on five hits and two walks. Shaver earned the win retiring five batters and punching out three.
Limestone was limited to six hits with Whetsell the only individual producing a pair. Huber took the loss pitching the ninth inning in relief.
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