Twin-bill split settles season meeting with No. 10 Crusaders

Twin-bill split settles season meeting with No. 10 Crusaders

VIDEO: Tom Griffin Interview

VIDEO: Game Highlights

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman picked up a 7-3 victory in game one while No. 10 Belmont Abbey held off a late rally in a 5-3 victory during a doubleheader at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex Tuesday afternoon.

The win in the first game snapped Belmont Abbey's (21-4-1) 16-game winning streak while Carson-Newman (15-9) picked up its first win over a ranked team since April 18, 2013 against 23rd-ranked Catawba. The last win for the Eagles over a top-10 came on Feb. 12, 2013 when C-N topped No. 7 Lander 5-3. The Eagles defeated seven ranked teams during the 2013 season.

"It's a very strong lineup," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said of the Crusaders. "There's a lot of veterans, older guys, strong. They look like and were built like the '27 Yankees. For us to have that type of game and to get those seeing-eye hits and then our bullpen to shut it down at the end."

The Crusaders ended the Eagles' nine-game nonconference winning streak in the second team handing C-N its first loss in non-league play since Feb. 19 when Northwood blanked the Eagles 6-0.

Game One – Carson-Newman 7, Belmont Abbey 3

Weston Clarke opened the scoring in the top of the fourth inning driving a 2-2 pitch over the wall in center field for his fourth home run of the year. An error and a walk put two on base for catcher Kevin Elefante with one out. Elefante lined a double to right-center field to add a run and make it a 2-0 contest.

In the home half of the fourth frame, singles from junior Trever Lee (Garner, N.C.) and senior Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) pulled the Eagles even at two.

The Crusaders re-gained the lead in the top of the fifth inning. Joshua Genthe began the frame with a double to left-center field and scored on a bloop single to right field by Colin Rosenbaum to make the edge 3-2.

Carson-Newman scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth inning sending 10 men to the plate as Belmont Abbey used four pitchers in the stanza. Sophomore Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) started the stanza with a game-tying home run over the left-center field fence on a 2-1 offering. A hit batter, an error and a walk loaded the bases with two outs. Freshman Ian Pung (Knoxville, Tenn.) gave the Eagles the lead with a solid single into center field on the first pitch of his at-bat. Senior Brandon Roberts (Davie, Fla.) followed with a two-run base hit to center to cap the scoring at 7-3.

Junior Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) picked up his first career win in his first pitching outing of his career working a scoreless sixth inning despite two walks.

Snapp led the offense in the game with a 3-for-4 day and two runs scored while piling up his eighth home run of the year.

Matt Davenport (2-1) took the loss for the Crusaders working 5.1 innings giving up five runs, three earned runs on eight hits with five strikeouts.

Game Two – Belmont Abbey 5, Carson-Newman 3

Belmont Abbey drew three walks in the top of the first inning to load the bases with two outs. Kayden Krause floated a 0-2 pitch to shallow right-center field that was dropped by junior second baseman Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) to allow two runs to score for a 2-0 lead for the visitors.

Junior center fielder Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) walked to begin the bottom of the first inning and stole second base, his ninth of the season. A wild pitch moved him to third base and Addington scored on a sacrifice fly to right field by junior first baseman Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) to pull the home team within a run.

With one out and two runners on base in the top of the fifth inning, Nick Beinlich tallied his fourth home run of the season bouncing a 1-2 pitch off of the scoreboard in right-center field to extend the lead to 5-1.

The Eagles failed to record a hit in the first five innings as Pung began the sixth with a base hit back up the middle on a 1-2 offering. Roberts followed with a base hit to put runners at the corners. Kirby brought home Pung with a sacrifice fly to left field. An infield single Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) with two outs on a dribbler to the left side of the infield made it a two-run game at 5-3.

Jeff Thompson (1-0) picked up the win for Belmont Abbey tossing four hitless innings striking out eight batters while walking three.

Carson-Newman hops on the bus this weekend to begin a three-game series against South Atlantic Conference opponent Wingate beginning Friday at 6 p.m. The Eagle Sports Network will provide audio coverage of each game on beginning 10 minutes prior to first pitch.

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