ROME, Ga. – Junior starting pitcher Ryan Eberle (Cookeville, Tenn.) tossed his first-career complete game as Carson-Newman came up with timely hits in its first win of the year, a 6-3 decision over Shorter Wednesday afternoon at Bob Stein Stadium.
Eberle (1-0) allowed three earned runs on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts on the day. The right-hander picked off two runners on the day bringing his season total to three, the most by a C-N hurler since Brandon Timmerman and Evan Faithful each had three in 2012.
"Two quality starts early in the year under tough conditions today," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said of Eberle. "He did an outstanding job of mixing things up. He pitched quite well his first game and another great outing today."
Carson-Newman (1-4) opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning. Junior first basemen Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) singled on the first pitch of the frame, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a sacrifice bunt. A ground out to shortstop by junior second basemen Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) plated Kirby and put the Eagles ahead 1-0.
Shorter (1-3) wasted no time in tying the score as Blaze Vazquez took the first pitch of the bottom of the fourth inning and clubbed it over the wall in left field for a solo home run to knot the score at one.
The first two Eagles were retired in the top of the seventh inning when senior third basemen Brandon Roberts (Davie, Fla.) stepped to the plate. With a 1-1 count on Roberts, the senior lifted a fly ball to deep right field that cleared the fence and put Carson-Newman ahead 2-1.
Griffin's group tacked on three runs in the top of the eighth inning. Kirby started the inning with a double to right-center field on the first pitch of the inning and moved to third base on a ground out to second base. Lynch brought home Kirby with a sacrifice fly to right field. Junior catcher Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) walked with two outs and stole second base. Junior shortstop Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) lined a ground-rule double to center field to plate Jones. Redshirt-freshman Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) blooped a double to the alley in right-center to score Rice and make it a 5-1 contest.
Pinch-hitting sophomore infielder Austin Kearney (Powell, Tenn.) singled over the Shorter second basemen, Jerry Liang, with one out in the top of the ninth. A throwing error allowed by Liang on a ground ball by Kirby moved Kearney to third. A balk sent Kearney home to push the advantage to 6-1.
Eberle walked the leadoff batter in the ninth and with two outs gave up a two-run home run to center field to Patrick Sanderson pulling the home team within three runs.
Kirby finished the day 3-for-5 with two runs scored while Rice joined the junior with multiple hits going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored.
Carson-Newman opens its home schedule with a three-game series against the University of Virginia-Wise beginning Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex. Broadcast coverage begins at 1:50 p.m. on cneagles.com/live in both audio and video formats.
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