WINGATE, N.C. – Carson-Newman (13-13, 9-6 South Atlantic Conference) received solid starting and relief pitching through its weekend series with Wingate (18-12, 11-4 SAC), but never could get enough run support. The Bulldogs took a pair of 5-3 decisions in Saturday's doubleheader.
"We need to find our identity at the plate," C-N coach Tom Griffin said. "We had good pitching today, sometimes great. But with the way our bats are right now, our pitching has to be perfect for us to win.
Wingate outhit C-N 23-6 between the two contests.
Game one: Wingate 5, C-N 3
Carson-Newman withstood 16 Wingate hits, but couldn't generate enough offense in game one to stay step-for-step with the Bulldogs in a 5-3 defeat. WU left 13 base runners stranded.
The Eagles brought a run across in the third and fourth innings to take a 2-1 lead that C-N would eventually relinquish in the fifth. Thomas Spitz doubled in a run to left center and Brian Yeung singled through the left side to give Wingate the lead.
The Bulldogs added another run in the sixth on a Michael Godinez single up the middle. With two out and the bases loaded, Dustin Dunagan (Winder, Ga.) entered for the Eagles in place of starting pitcher Alex Britt (Salisbury, N.C.)
C-N started to rally in the seventh. Bryan Everhart (Greeneville, Tenn.) led off the frame and was plunked. A throwing error by the pitcher brought him over to third to set up a sacrifice fly from Evan Kirkpatrick (Jefferson City, Tenn.) to bring the Eagles within a run.
The Bulldogs added an insurance run in the seventh on a Jason Hunter single through the left side.
The Eagles threatened in the eighth, but were unable to produce a run. The Eagles had Philip Duncan (Knoxville, Tenn.) on second and Bo Ausmus (Jefferson City, Tenn.) on second with no one out. But Kevin Franchetti (Highland, Ind.) grounded into a double play 5-3 to put two outs on the board.
Evan Jurjevic (New Carlisle, Ind.) grounded out to short to end the inning.
The Eagles went 1-2-3 in the top of the ninth to end the game and lose their fifth consecutive contest.
Britt was handed the loss (3-2) after surrendering four runs and 13 hits. TJ Rinoski (3-0) picked up the win after going 6.1 innings and striking out three.
Game two: Wingate 5, C-N 3
Carson-Newman carried a 3-2 lead into the sixth inning of game two – six outs away from a win to salvage the series. However, the Bulldogs rolled three across in the bottom half of the inning to put the Eagles away.
Kirkpatrick provided a go-ahead run for the Eagles in the top of the sixth when he brought around Ausmus from third.
The Bulldogs tied the game in the bottom half of the frame on a Godinez single to short. Then Wingate pulled ahead when Krebs doubled to left center to score two and give the Bulldogs the lead for good.
Daniel Sharp took the loss in relief (1-1). He was responsible for Godinez, who scored on Krebs' double.
The Eagles return home Tuesday to face North Georgia at 2 p.m. Coverage will be available on the Coca-Cola Eagle Sports Network online at cneagles.com.