AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Carson-Newman Eagles (2-0) baseball team earned two victories against the GRU Augusta Jaguars (0-2) Saturday afternoon winning game one 6-1 and game two 4-3 in seven innings.
The victories mark the first time since 2009 Carson-Newman baseball started the season with a sweep of the doubleheader.
"A lot of credit goes to Gooch Greer and Greg Jones, our catchers, because they are calling the game," head coach Tom Griffin said of the pitching performance. "I thought they [the ptichers] did a great job getting strike one. They were spotting it really well. Their location was really good and really attacked the hitters."
Each team took a little while to heat up offensively in the first game with neither side putting a runner in scoring position until Evan Jurjevic (New Carlisle, Ind.) led off the fifth inning with a double to center field. Brandon Roberts (Davie, Fla.) singled to put runners at the corners. Jurjevic came home to score the season's first run on a sacrifice fly by junior Bryan Everhart (Greeneville, Tenn.).
"Some of our outs were hard hit," Griffin said about the slow start for the offense. "Guys felt like they were seeing it well. If you have hard contact and are seeing it well, something is going to fall."
The Eagles batted around in the sixth inning. With one out, Bo Ausmus (Jefferson City, Tenn.) drew a walk. Cody Fox (Seymour, Tenn.) singled. After a strikeout, Roberts drew a bases on balls to load the bases. Back-to-back errors by Jaguars' shortstop Tyler Roberts allowed three runs to score. Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) lined a single to center field to bring home Everhart and give Carson-Newman a 5-0 lead.
GRU Augusta scored its lone run of the contest in the bottom of the sixth. The first two men reached base and second basemen Ross Miles scored on a wild pitch by Carson Bryant (Fletcher, N.C.).
Junior starting pitcher Quinton Yocom (Cable, Ohio) faced the minimum in each of the first four innings getting a pair of double plays to negate base runners. Yocom (1-0) went 5.1 innings allowing an unearned run on two hits and a walk with three strikeouts.
Fox added a run to the Eagles lead with a leadoff solo home run over the fence in left center as Carson-Newman went on to a 6-1 victory.
The Eagles picked up right where they left off in the second game. With two outs in the first inning, Ausmus walked. Fox ripped a double just out of the reach of left fielder JD Sabo's glove to bring home Ausmus. Fox stole third and came in to score on a wild pitch to put the visiting team up 2-0.
The Jaguars answered in the bottom of the third inning. Roberts led off the inning with a single and scored on a double by Jeff Rice. An error by Trace Rogers (Simpsonville, S.C.) allowed Rice to score to tie the game at two.
Carson-Newman responded immediately in the top of the fourth inning. Everhart singled with two outs, stole second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Freshman Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) drove a 3-2 pitch to the gap in left center for a triple to give the Eagles a 3-2 advantage.
Sophomore lefty Vince Apicella (Dillsburg, Pa.) scattered six hits in five innings of working allowing two runs, one earned with three strikeouts.
"If we can get starters to go that deep in the first series, you're fortunate," Griffin said of his starting pitching on day one. "They are hard working kids. They are prepared for this."
Jones delivered again in the sixth inning. Fox walked to lead off the frame advancing to second base on a sacrifice bunt. With two outs, Jones roped a single into center field to give the Eagles a 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, senior Lucas Watson (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) was out for his second inning of work. A walk and two singles loaded the bases with no one out bringing Griffin to the mound.
Rice smacked a ball to straightaway center. Junior Evan Kirkpatrick (Jefferson City, Tenn.) made the catch and threw a laser to third base as Rogers applied the tag for a double play. Hunter Boose popped out into foul territory to give the Eagles a 4-3 win.
The Eagles will go for the series sweep Sunday afternoon for a 1 p.m. scheduled first pitch. Dustin Dunagan (Winder, Ga.) will take the hill for Griffin's group. Pregame coverage begins on the Eagle Sports Network at 12:50 p.m.