JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The annual trip to Shorter for Carson-Newman expects to be close to the first two treks, cold and windy, as first pitch is set for 1 p.m. Wednesday afternoon at the Robert H. Ledbetter Complex in Rome, Ga.
Each of the last two trips for Carson-Newman (0-4) to Shorter (1-2) have seen snow flurries during the contests with a nice day slated for the midweek with latest forecasts showing 39 degrees as a high and winds as high as 16 miles per hour.
Carson-Newman is looking to get back on the field after starting the season with four losses in a spot where the Eagles have won each of the last two seasons.
Wednesday will be the third meeting all-time between the two programs with the first two meetings coming in 2014 and 2015 at Robert H. Ledbetter on Shorter's campus.
The contest in 2015 saw Carson-Newman take a 6-0 lead after five innings of action needing to hold off the Hawks 6-5. Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) drove in three runs while Bo Ausmus and Evan Jurjevic each had two hits. Justin Evans picked up the save in the victory.
Shorter has been a member of the Gulf Coast Conference since 2013 with nationally ranked teams Delta State, West Florida and West Alabama. The Hawks have not had a winning record during the first three years in the league with back-to-back ninth-place finishes and an eighth-place finish in 2013.
This season Shorter was tabbed 10th in the preseason coaches' poll under first-year coach Wes Timmons, a two-year assistant at North Carolina A&T. Timmons was a 12th round pick of the Atlanta Braves in 2002 out of Bethune-Cookman College and spent 10 seasons in the minors playing eight in the Atlanta organization before finishing with two year in the Oakland A's system.
The 2002 draft saw the Braves take Jeff Francoeur taken first and Brian McCann selected as the team's first pick in the second round. Notable players drafted after Timmons include Russel Martin (17th round) and a quartet of players that did not sign, Jacoby Ellsbury (23rd), Hunter Pence (40th), Matt Garza (40th) and Jonathan Papelbon (40th).
Shorter began the 2016 season on the road with a three-game series against Spring Hill College winning the first game before dropping the final two contests.
In the three-game set the Hawks hit .165 as a team but drew 18 walks. Five of the team's 14 hits in the first weekend of the year were home runs led by two dingers from juniors Patrick Sanderson and Blake Vazquez.
The pitching staff saw opponents hit .255 last weekend while compiling a team ERA of 2.74 but conceded five long balls.
Eric Cain will be on the microphone for the Eagle Sports Network beginning at 1:50 p.m. on cneagles.com/live with an audio broadcast.
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