JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Wingate pounded out 21 hits but Carson-Newman scored in six separate innings to improve to 8-2 in South Atlantic Conference home games with a 13-9 triumph Friday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
"We had to answer like in a fight," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "We had to answer a round that we lost with a round to win. The ability of our hitters to match the numbers that they had put up I think was crucial mentality for us. It gave our hitters confidence. They were seeing it well with the contact. We decided to use [Ryan] Eberle on the back end. That's a guy that has the most experience with more innings that anyone else."
The win for Carson-Newman (21-20, 8-11) snaps an eight-game losing streak at home to Wingate (17-25, 8-11) since its last win on April 17, 2009. The Bulldogs are now 4-16 in their last 20 games as the Eagles attempt to pick up a series win against Wingate for the first time 2011.
Zach Little lined a one-out single to right-center field in the top of the first inning. With two out and two outs, Micah Goodwin laced a double to the wall in right-center field to score Little and put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0.
Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) opened the bottom of the first inning with a double to the right-center field alley. The senior scored from second on a bouncing ball back into center field by Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) to tie the game at one. Carson-Newman notched four hits in the inning but made three outs on the base paths to end a potential rally.
Ty Andrus reached on an infield single to start the top of the third inning and was at first base after back-to-back fly outs. Bradley Brown cranked the first pitch he saw over the wall in right field for his 10th home run of the year to give Wingate the lead back at 3-1.
Wingate starting pitcher Brandon Donahue plunked two of the first three batters in the bottom of the third. With one out Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) blasted the first offering he saw over the 18-foot high fence in left-center field for a three-run bomb to give the Eagles their first lead of the day at 4-3.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Bulldogs regained the lead scoring twice with two outs to go on top 5-4. Zach Little and Colby Barnette hit two-out singles through the left side of the infield to produce a run each with two men down.
The Eagles regained the lead in the last of the fourth inning as Jimmy Rice began the frame with a base hit to left field. Addington smashed the next offering over the 380 marker in straightaway center field to make it a 6-5 contest.
The team's traded one-out sacrifice flies in the fifth inning as Wingate's Matthew Grecco tied the score at six before Addington put Carson-Newman on top 7-6 after five complete.
Carson-Newman took control of the contest in the bottom of the seventh inning scoring five times to take a 12-6 lead. Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) hit a 2-0 pitch over the right field fence for his third home run of the year to start the inning. Rice walked and scored on a wild pitch. A fielder's choice ground out from Kirby scored Addington. With two outs, Jones doubled to left field to score a run and Langhorne laced an RBI single to right field to cap the inning.
Colby Barnette launched a one-out, two-run home run to left field and Brown hit his second long ball of the game as the duo went back-to-back for the Bulldogs in the top of the eighth inning to pull the visitors within three runs at 12-9.
The Eagles added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth inning as Lynch reached on an infield single to second base with one out to plate Campbell and push the edge to 13-9.
In his first relief outing since the opening weekend of 2016, Ryan Eberle (Cookeville, Tenn.) tossed five innings allowing four earned runs on 10 hits with a pair of strikeouts to earn his first win since March 25 to go to 3-6 on the year.
"It's a different feel," Eberle said. "I hadn't had a relief appearance since last year. You have to come out and throw and train the same way to be ready when they call your name. We mixed it up for me to work out of the stretch instead of the wind-up. I was able to work and be effective. It was different but it worked."
Seven different players for Griffin's group had at least two hits on the day as Addington went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a trio of runs scored. Jones went 2-for-5 with four runs knocked in and a pair of runs.
Every starting player for Wingate had at least one knock on the day as seven players had two hits or more. Goodwin notched a four-hit day while Barnette and Brown each drove in three runs.
The Eagles and Bulldogs decide the series Saturday afternoon with a doubleheader slated to start at noon from the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex. Broadcast coverage begins at 11:45 a.m. with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to First Pitch" on cneagles.com/live with video and audio streams available through the Eagle Sports Network.
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