JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman picked up the first four-game series sweep in the history of the program and clubbed four home runs in a 13-4 victory over McKendree Sunday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
Carson-Newman (9-5) has won six consecutive games and has four wins over an opponent in a single season for the first time since 2013 when the Eagles swept Tusculum in the regular season and won a game in the South Atlantic Conference Baseball Championships.
The Eagles' four home runs marked the first time since March 28, 2012 at Pfeiffer that a C-N team hit four roundtrippers in a game.
11 players reached safely for Carson-Newman pounding out a season-high 15 hits as it was the first time since March 17, 2015 that the Eagles had at least 10 players reach safely when they had 11 get on base against Cedarville.
McKendree (0-7) is winless in the first seven games for the first time since the 2009 season.
"We have been really aggressive," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "I think our approach has been pretty good. We have great team energy. The chemistry is good. The energy and passion for the game is good. We come to work every day and we train hard. We are enjoying the games and the process of the games."
Ryan Cates led off the top of the second inning with a double off of the wall in straightaway center field and moved to third base on a single by Grant Anderson. Cates crossed the plate on a sacrifice fly to right field by Connor Davault to give the Bearcats their first lead of the series at 1-0.
Carson-Newman answered five pitches into the bottom of the second inning. Junior first basemen Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) drove a 3-1 pitch over the left-center field fence for his third home run of the series to tie the score at one.
The Eagles pushed three runs across in the bottom of the third inning to take a 4-1 advantage. With one out junior shortstop Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) laced a double over the third basemen and down the left-field line. Senior third baseman Brandon Roberts (Davie, Fla.) was hit by a pitch and Kirby drew a walk to load the bases. Junior second baseman Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) plated Rice and Roberts with a double that was just over the glove of the McKendree right fielder. A sacrifice fly by sophomore designated hitter Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) brought home Kirby with a sacrifice fly to center field.
The home group put another three-spot on the board in the bottom of the fourth inning. Junior catcher Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) led off the inning with a triple to right-center field on a play that McKendree believed that its center fielder caught. Freshman left fielder Ian Pung (Knoxville, Tenn.) singled to center field to bring Jones home. With two outs, Rice walked and scored on Roberts' third home run of the season, a high fly ball over the left-field wall.
Snapp delivered the third home run of the game for Griffin's group, a solo shot, well over the left-field fence to extend the lead to 8-1.
McKendree scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning, all with two outs. Anderson clubbed his second home run of the series, a two-run blast to left field. The scoring in the stanza was capped by a base hit to left field by Chris Deaville to make it an 8-4 contest.
Kirby drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the sixth with Roberts standing at third base. The fourth ball skipped up the first base line. Roberts tried to score and Kirby sprinted towards second base. McKendree's pitcher, Brad Henry fired a throw that went into center field to allow Roberts to score and make it a 9-4 game.
Junior center fielder Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) started a four-run eighth inning with his second home run of the season over the right-field fence. Three straight singles was capped by a base hit to left field by sophomore Austin Kearney (Powell, Tenn.) to plate Rice. In his first career collegiate game, junior Graham Warren (Franklin, Tenn.), a linebacker on the football team, chopped a double down the left-field line to score a pair of runs and move the margin to 13-4.
Carson-Newman starting pitcher Grant Rabbitts (Johnson City, Tenn.) picked up his second win in two games this season going 5.2 innings giving up four earned runs on 10 hits and one walk.
Snapp went 3-for-3 finishing a triple shy of the cycle for his first multi-hit game of the season. Roberts picked up a hit for the 14th-straight game to begin the year going 2-for-3 with four runs scored for his seventh multi-hit day of the season.
"I was going up there just trying to hit it hard," Snapp said. "I haven't been hitting very good. I was just trying to make contact, solid contact, and just hit it hard. Everybody hitting home runs. It's so cool to be a part of that too."
Carson-Newman plays its final home game in a 10-game sequence Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. when the Eagles host Bluefield State. Broadcast coverage begins at 1:50 p.m. on cneagles.com/live with audio and video on the Eagle Sports Network.
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