WINGATE, N.C. – Carson-Newman's bats broke out of a slumber by beating Wingate 10-5 in the final game of the series after the Bulldogs took a 5-1 victory in the opening game during a twin-bill Saturday afternoon at Ron Christopher Stadium.
"This is a tough place for us to play," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "Wingate played very well. They pitched it well. They got timely hits and losing those first two is tough. Our guys are very resilient. It all starts with the leaders."
Wingate (18-10, 4-5) has now won at least two out of three games in a series against Carson-Newman (16-11, 4-5) in each of the last five seasons with the last series win for the Eagles coming in 2011.
Game One – Wingate 5, Carson-Newman 1
Tyler Simmons doubled to left field with one out in the bottom of the second inning and moved to third base on a wild pitch. A fielding error by senior third baseman Brandon Roberts (Davie, Fla.) allowed Simmons to score from third and put the Bulldogs ahead 1-0.
For the fourth straight inning, the Eagles put the leadoff man on base in the top of the fifth inning. Freshman Ian Pung (Knoxville, Tenn.) started the stanza with a bunt single towards the second baseman. A sacrifice bunt and a ground out had Pung at third base with two outs. On the first pitch of his at-bat, junior Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) pulled a single into right field to score Pung and tie the score at one.
The Bulldogs promptly responded with a four-run bottom of the fifth inning. Shane Billings started the frame with an infield single to third base followed by a walk to Bill Krebs. After a strikeout, Bradley Brown roped a double to the wall in right field to score Billings. Zach Little drove a 0-1 pitch to left-center field to score Krebs and Brown. A two-out single to center field by Austin Turgeon scored Little to cap the frame and extend the lead to 5-1.
Carson-Newman stranded seven men on base in the game as Kory Behenna (3-3) picked up the win tossing seven innings allow just one earned run on a six hits with seven strikeouts and one walk.
Senior right-hander Dustin Batson (Pisgah Forest, N.C.) tossed his second career complete game to fall to 2-2 on the year. Batson gave up five earned runs on six hits with a career-high five walks allowed coupled with six strikeouts on 131 pitches.
Pung went 2-for-4 in the game while junior first baseman Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) notched a 3-for-4 day at the office as Carson-Newman outhit Wingate 7-6.
Game Two – Carson-Newman 10, Wingate 5
With one out junior Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) drew a walk followed by a solid base hit to right field by Roberts. An error by Wingate starter Brandon Donahue moved Rice to third who scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Kirby to give the Eagles their first lead of the series. An RBI double to left field by sophomore Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) scored Roberts to make it 2-0 before the Bulldogs came to the plate.
Carson-Newman sent 10 men to the plate in the top of the third inning to score six runs. Addington singled and scored on a double by Roberts that trickled to the fence in the corner in right. Kirby drove in Roberts with a base hit to left field. With two aboard and two outs, junior Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) lined a double down the right-field line to score a pair. Redshirt-freshman Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) capped the inning with an RBI single to left field to extend the advantage to 8-0.
Three consecutive doubles by Reece Daniel, Billings and Krebs put two runs on the board for the Bulldogs to pull within six runs.
Rice and Roberts started the fourth inning with singles and scored on a ground out and sacrifice fly respectively to regain the eight-run lead.
Kemper Patton led off the bottom of the seventh with a single and with one out Billings singled to left. Krebs launched a 1-0 offering over the left-field wall to make it a 10-5 game.
Junior right-hander Ryan Eberle (Cookeville, Tenn.) improved to 4-2 on the season going 6.1 innings while allowing five earned runs on 10 hits, one walk with three strikeouts.
Five Eagles had multi-hit days led by Roberts going 3-for-4 while Addington, Kirby, Snapp and Jones all notched a pair of hits in the game.
Brandon Donahue (4-2) took the loss for Wingate lasting just 2.2 innings giving up eight runs, four earned runs on seven hits, one walk and three strikeouts.
Carson-Newman is scheduled to travel to UVA-Wise on Tuesday for a 3 p.m. first pitch against the Cavaliers. The game will be broadcast on cneagles.com/live beginning 10 minutes prior to the beginning of play.
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