MARS HILL, N.C. – Mars Hill extended its winning streak over Carson-Newman to five games with 8-4 and 8-2 wins over the Eagles Saturday afternoon at Henderson as the Eagles fell to 0-11 in South Atlantic Conference road games in 2017.
The Lions have limited coach Tom Griffin's team to a total of 11 hits in the series while picking up 23 as a team. Only three of the 11 knocks for Carson-Newman (24-22, 10-13) have been for extra bases, all doubles. Mars Hill (28-19, 14-9) has a total of 12 extra-base hits through 18 innings of play.
Game One: MARS HILL 8, Carson-Newman 4
Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) set the table in the top of the first inning reaching on an error at shortstop and stealing second base on the next pitch. After a ground out, Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) ripped a double off of the wall in center field to score a fellow senior and make it a 1-0 contest.
Hunter Merrill drew a four-pitch walk to open the bottom of the first frame. Two batters later with one out, Brett Brubaker launched a two-run home run off of the scoreboard in left field for his 13th blast of the year to give the home club the lead at 2-1.
Mars Hill added a run to its lead in the bottom of the second stanza as Gray McCurry tripled off of the fence in center field and came into score on a ground out to shortstop by Lance Edwards pushing the edge to 3-1.
In the bottom of the third inning, Christian Stampler cranked a three-run long ball to left-center field on a 3-0 offering. Three batters later with a man aboard, Lance Edwards launched his second roundtripper of the year to left field to extend the advantage for Mars Hill to 8-1.
Zac Brown allowed just one hit during his outing while retiring 14 of the 15 Eagles he faced. In five frames, the lefty allowed an unearned run while striking out nine batters.
Addington opened the top of the eighth inning with a single into center field and stole second. Following a fly out to center and a punch out, Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) smacked an RBI double off of the fence in center. A hit batter and a passed ball put runners in scoring position for Brett Langhorne (Mechiancsville, Va.) as the junior ripped a single back up the box to plate a pair and pull the Eagles within four.
Tom Mastrodonato sent the Eagles down in 1-2-3 fashion in the ninth to secure the win in his lone inning of relief.
Kirby finished the day with two hits and an RBI while Langhorne went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in. Carson-Newman struck out 14 times in the game to set a new season high for punch outs in a game.
Stampler finished a triple shy of the cycle for Mars Hill going 3-for-4 with the three-run bomb. Travis Owens and Daniel Vitello each had a pair of knocks.
Game Two: MARS HILL 8, Carson-Newman 2
Back-to-back doubles opened the bottom of the first inning for Mars Hill to produce the game's first run. A sacrifice fly from Travis Owens and an RBI single back up the middle by Shomarii Thomas made it a 3-0 game after an inning.
Kirby drew a walk on an eight-pitch at-bat to start the top of the second inning. With two outs and Kirby at third base, Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) struck out but a dropped third strike extended the frame allowing Kirby to score on the wild pitch and cut the deficit to two at 3-1.
The Lions scored four times in the bottom of the third inning to go on top 7-1. Ryan Eberle (Cookeville, Tenn.) walked the first two men of the inning. Travis Owens pulled a two-run double down the right field line to score a pair. Thomas laced a double down the left-field line and Cody Cline's sacrifice fly to right field capped the scoring.
Lane Grant retired just one batter in the top of the seventh inning issuing four walks to allow the Eagles to get a run as Addington drew a free pass. Blaine Ferrell came out of the bullpen and picked up a pair of punch outs to leave the bases juiced and preserve a 7-2 advantage.
Merrill singled to left and stole second base to begin the bottom of the seventh. Brubaker lined a single into center field to score Merrill and give the Lions the answer to the top half of the frame and make it an 8-2 contest.
Jordan Davis (Maryville, Tenn.) worked a career long 3 1/3 innings out of the bullpen fanning a career-high six batters while allowing an earned run.
Trever Lee (Garner, N.C.) was the lone Eagle with a multi-hit day notching a pair of singles as C-N was outhit 10-5 overall.
Carl Edwards struck out seven batters in six innings of working yielding an earned run on three hits and two walk to earn the victory.
Merrill had three hits and a pair of runs scored while Owens drove in a trio of teammates and Thomas picked up two RBIs.
Carson-Newman is the No. 7 seed in next week's SAC Baseball Championships and will be a single elimination game Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. from Smokies Stadium against sixth-seeded Coker.
The two programs will attempt to finish out the series Sunday afternoon with a seven-inning contest starting at 1 p.m. from Henderson Field as the game will be broadcast on cneagles.com/live.
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