Sizzling Crusaders journey to the Volunteer State for double-barreled matinee

Carson-Newman Baseball Game Notes

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Following a sweep at the hands of Mars Hill Saturday afternoon, Carson-Newman returns to the field Tuesday afternoon for a twin-bill against Belmont Abbey beginning at 2 p.m. at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.

"You keep doing what you're doing," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said following Saturday's games. "You stay with your protocol. You stay with the environment and culture. We will get a good practice in on Monday once they start school and get back into the routine. We still have to be thankful for everything that we get to do here. It sings and hurts but that's all right. It's a part of life."

The Eagles have won eight straight games against nonconference opponents with the last loss coming on Feb. 19 in the final game of two against Northwood (Mich.) in a 6-0 defeat.

In 25 previous meetings, Carson-Newman (14-8) holds a 16-9 advantage including wins in each of the last two outings. The Eagles have lost back-to-back games at home to Belmont Abbey (20-3-1) with the last win coming on March 20, 2012 when the two sides last played a doubleheader. C-N won 4-2 and 2-1 in a pair of seven-inning games.

In 2015, the two sides played just once, on April 7 at Abbey Yard. The Eagles scored three runs with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to force extra innings before manufacturing a run in the 10th to win 6-5.

In 2015, the Crusaders finished the season with a 25-25 overall record with a 16-11 mark in Conference Carolinas play.

The Crusaders saw first-team all-conference and second-team all-region catcher Anthony Dimino sign with the New York Mets in June 2015 as a 28th-round selection to become the program's fourth active Minor League Baseball player. Dimino played in 30 games for the GCL Mets in 2015 tallying a .295 batting average with 10 RBIs.

Belmont Abbey returns three second-team all-league picks from 2016 in third baseman Nick Nunziato and outfielders Conor Kwalwasser and Lorenzo Wright.

The Crusaders are riding a 16-game winning streak with their last loss coming on Feb. 13 against Slippery Rock in a 2-1 final. During the streak, they have defeated three South Atlantic Conference teams, Brevard, Catawba and Lenoir-Rhyne.

A big reason for the success this season has been the pitching staff ranking in the top-15 nationally with a 2.71 earned run average. The starting pitchers have allowed just 39 earned runs on the year while the entire staff has a 2:1 strikeout-walk ratio.

At the plate, Belmont Abbey is hitting .311 as a team with 20 home runs. Nunziato is hitting just .266 but has nine home runs and 25 RBIs. Colin Rosenbaum paces the offense with a .471 batting average. Every position that has played in 2016 has at least one stolen base as the team has racked up 47 steals.

Both games will be broadcast on with video and audio streams available for free. The Eagle Sports Network will be on the air beginning 10 minutes prior to the first pitch with the pregame show.

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