BELMONT, N.C. – Carson-Newman's pitchers buckled down with runners in scoring position allowing two hits in 15 at-bats to seal a 4-0 start to the season with a 5-4 victory at Abbey Yard over Belmont Abbey Tuesday afternoon.
"The best part is that we hung in there," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffins said. "We did not come close to winning the freebie war. On paper we probably should have lost the game. We had some guys make big pitches in big situations and we made plays when we had to. It's good to see that maturation mentally. We can continue to grow from the experiences from this road stretch."
The Eagles solidify a 4-0 open to the year for the first time since 2009 while winning its seventh consecutive road game, the longest streak since winning seven straight in 2011. C-N also tops Belmont Abbey (0-4) for a fourth meeting in a row tying its longest winning streak in the history of the series.
Griffin's group came out of the gates swinging scoring four times in the top of the first frame. A single and walk opened the game. After a strikeout, four straight singles from Brendan Krob (Justice, Ill.), Kilian Daughtry (Simpsonville, S.C.), Mark Treadway (Friendsville, Tenn.) and Henry Jackson (Waxhaw, N.C.) kick-started the offense.
Belmont Abbey lit the lamp first in the bottom of the third inning when with two men out and two outs, Adam Overcash lined a double to right field to slice the deficit in half to 4-2.
The teams traded runs in the fourth with an infield single from Micah Genter (Jasper, Tenn.) for C-N and a sacrifice fly from Ben Gobbel made it a 5-3 affair.
Carson-Newman's pitching staff put itself into a jam in the bottom of the eight hitting two batters and walking two including one with the bases loaded to see its lead dwindle to 5-4. Hunter Long (Powell, Tenn.) extinguished the flames with a punch out of Gobbel.
Long allowed a one-out single in the bottom of the ninth before fanning the final two batters he faced. The right-hander fanned the final two batters to secure his first win of the year. Logan Cogburn (Friendsville, Tenn.) earned the win striking out three while recording the first seven outs of the game.
The Eagles used six pitchers on the day striking out 15 batters, the most by the staff in 32 games when the hurlers struck out 16 Bluefield State batters on March 6, 2019.
At the plate, Jackson produced three hits in his first career game in the Orange and Blue. Daughtry, Treadway and Gunnar Ricketts (Hixson, Tenn.) each had a pair of hits as the team produced 13 on the day.
The Crusaders were limited to six knocks but drew eight walks. No man in the lineup had more than one hit with Overcash leading the way with a pair of RBIs.
Ryan Giberson was hit with the loss yielding five earned runs on nine hits and a walk over four frames. A trio of pitchers out of the bullpen combined to shut down the C-N offense with five scoreless innings giving up four hits and a walk.
The Eagles open up an eight-game homestand with a doubleheader against West Liberty on Saturday starting at noon in the first game on the new carpet at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex. Audio and video streams will be available at cneagles.com/live.
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