Eagles drop doubleheader to LMU, 6-1 and 5-4
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — The Carson-Newman College baseball team dropped both games of a doubleheader Saturday to visiting South Atlantic Conference rival Lincoln Memorial. In the opening game LMU starter Brad Pressley threw a complete game in a 6-1 Railsplitter win. In the second a last-inning Eagles rally fell just short, with the Eagles losing 5-4 at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
A big LMU second inning and quiet bats on offense doomed the Eagles in game one. C-N sophomore starter Lucas Watson (Gatlinburg. Tenn.) scattered nine hits across six innings. After falling behind 4-0 over the first two innings, Watson held the Railsplitters scoreless over the next four.
Carson-Newman picked up its lone run in the fourth. Senior third baseman Lance Rorex (Chattanooga, Tenn.) led off with a single down the left field line. Sophomore second baseman Trace Rogers (Simpsonville, S.C.) drew a walk and the Eagles had two runners on with no outs. A perfectly executed sacrifice bunt from senior shortstop Troy Zawadski (Shrewsbury, Mass.) put both runners in scoring position. A sac fly RBI from senior catcher Mason Guymon (Oak Ridge, Tenn.) brought Rorex in, but a ground out in the next at-bat ended the inning for the Eagles.
The Railsplitters picked up two more runs in the seventh. Pressley gave up just five hits in the win for LMU.
In the seven-inning second game, the Railsplitters again took the first lead with a three-run fourth inning. The Eagles tied the game in the bottom of the sixth thanks to some LMU mistakes. An error and a walk put two Eagles runners on base with one out. A base hit from catcher Lance Reed loaded the bases. An RBI single from freshman center fielder Cody Fox (Seymour, Tenn.) scored the first run. Sophomore right fielder Philip Duncan (Knoxville, Tenn.) crossed home plate with an unearned run. An RBI single from Rorex evened the score 3-3.
The Railsplitters retook command in the top of the seventh with two runs with back-to-back two out RBIs. With two outs on the board in the bottom of the inning, junior left fielder Zach Long (Jefferson City, Tenn.) sent an RBI single into center field. A fly out from Reed ended the game.
Long had a stellar day in left field on defense, starring in the highlight reel with a diving fly out in the opening game. Rorex, at third base, made a great play of his own, stealing a base hit in the opening game with a full extension dive.
The Railsplitters wanted nothing to do with NCAA Division II homerun co-leader Kyle Koeneman (Seymour, Tenn.). Koeneman registered just four official at-bats in both games and was walked four times. In the opening game Koeneman nearly took first place all by himself with a long fly ball that was just a foot short of clearing the wall.
Carson-Newman plays at King Tuesday. April 10 with the first pitch scheduled for 3 p.m. The Eagles return to the Silver Diamond Complex to open a three-game series against SAC rival Newberry to close out the regular season beginning Friday, April 13.