Seven long balls lead Lions to 11-inning 15-12 triumph

Seven long balls lead Lions to 11-inning 15-12 triumph

VIDEO: Tom Griffin Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Mars Hill notched seven home runs and overcame a 9-1 deficit to put a halt to Carson-Newman's 11-game winning streak with a 15-12 win in 11 innings Friday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex in South Atlantic Conference action.

The loss for the Eagles (14-6, 3-1) is the first setback since a 6-0 defeat against Northwood (Mich.) on Feb. 19 in the final game of a doubleheader.

Carson-Newman saw Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) and Ian Pung (Knoxville, Tenn.) go 4-for-6 each in the game marking the first time since April 6, 2010 against Belmont Abbey that a duo each notched four hits in a game.

Snapp finished a double shy of the cycle while hitting two home runs with four RBIs and four runs scored with 12 total bases. It was the most total bases by a C-N player since Nick Achberger had 12 on Feb. 1, 2008 against Augusta State.

With seven homers in the game, Mars Hill (16-8, 4-3) hit the most roundtrippers against a C-N team since at least 2002 surpassing Wingate's total of six on March 24, 2012.

The loss for the Eagles was the first time since March 19, 2013 that a C-N team lost when scoring 10 or more runs when North Georgia picked up a 14-10 win. It was the most runs the Eagles scored in a loss since falling 15-12 on March 31, 2010 v. Pfeiffer.

"All the credit to them," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "To stay in the game and keep battling and taking good swings, they did a great job swinging. Balls were finding holes. We have been seeing that on our side where you find holes and balls aren't being hit at people. It's just the nature of the game. I think our guys battled very well. We played the game hard. Our attitude and effort was good. I think our at-bats were good."

Junior center fielder Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) led off the bottom of the first inning with a single back up the middle. A sacrifice bunt and a base hit to right field by senior third baseman Brandon Roberts (Davie, Fla.) put Addington 90 feet away from the plate. Junior first baseman Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) grounded into a fielder's choice to allow Addington to score the game's first run.

The Eagles put up four runs in the bottom of the second inning. Snapp drove the first pitch of the frame over the left-center field fence for his sixth home run of the year. Pung and redshirt-freshman Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) followed with singles before moving up a base on a sacrifice bunt. Addington lined a single to left field to plate Pung. A sacrifice fly to right field by Roberts brought home Campbell and a Kirby single off of the glove of Mars Hill's shortstop Evan Rogers capped the scoring to push the lead to 5-0.

Snapp and Pung singled with one out in the bottom of the third inning. After a ground out, senior catcher Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) hit a rocket off of the pitcher's glove to bring home Snapp for a 6-0 lead.

With two outs and no one on base in the top of the fifth inning, Phillip Carroll drove a 2-2 pitch over the right-field wall for his first home run of the season to get Mars Hill on the scoreboard.

With one out in the bottom of the fifth frame, Snapp hit a triple to the fence in left field and scored on a base hit to left-center field by Pung to get the lead back to six runs.

Addington started the last of the sixth with a bunt single up the first-base line. Following a ground out, Roberts launched his seventh home run of the season over the right-field wall to give C-N a 9-1 lead.

The Lions sent 13 men to the plate in the top of the seventh inning and scored 10 runs to take a 10-9 advantage. With the bases loaded, Carroll lined a two-run double down the right-field line. A single and sacrifice fly added a pair. Rogers clubbed a three-run home run over the left-field wall. A single was coupled with a two-run home run to right field by Brett Brubaker to cap the nine-run inning.

Rogers and Dylan Powers cranked back-to-back home runs to start the top of the ninth to extend the edge for the Lions to three runs at 12-9.

With one out and two men on base in the bottom of the ninth inning, Snapp crushed a ball over the left-field fence for a game-tying three-run home run to force extra innings.

Rogers led off the 11th with a base hit to left field and scored on Powers's second blast of the day, a drive over the left-center field wall. Brett Brubaker followed with a dinger over the right-field fence on a 0-1 pitch to push the Lions' lead to 15-12.

The bullpen for the Eagles went 4.2 innings while conceding 12 hits and nine earned runs to get pinned with the loss. Six players had multiple hits for the home group as all nine starters hit safely in the game for the second straight outing.

For Mars Hill, Drayden Williams (5-0 pitched five innings out of the bullpen to pick up the win striking out two batters in the contest. The 3-6 batters in the Lions' order went 11-for-22 at the plate with five home runs and 10 RBIs.

The two squads wrap up the series with a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at noon. Pregame coverage begins at 11:50 a.m. with audio and video streams available on on the Eagle Sports Network.

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