JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman picked up a victory in the first game of a South Atlantic Conference series against Coker winning 12-4 Friday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
"We were able to have a good approach at the plate today," Carson-Newman assistant coach Skyler Barnett said. "We do stress quality at-bats and quality approaches. Today it worked out in our favor and we were fortunate. We were able to get deep in counts, make hard contact and force some pressure on their defense."
Junior shortstop Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) lined a base hit to center field and senior third baseman Brandon Roberts (Davie, Fla.) drew a walk during a 10-pitch at-bat with one out in the top of the first inning. Back-to-back RBI singles by junior first baseman Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) and sophomore designated hitter Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) put the Eagles ahead 2-0.
Redshirt-freshman left fielder Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) singled to left field with one out in the second stanza and scored on a double by Rice that the junior drilled down the third-base line. Errors by the shortstop and left fielder allowed two runs to cross the plate and push the C-N lead to 5-0.
Coker put a run on the scoreboard in the top of the fourth inning as Thomas Lopez clubbed his second home run of the season over the left-field wall on a 2-2 pitch to make it a 5-1 game.
The Eagles added to their lead in the bottom of the fifth inning extending it to 7-1. Kirby was hit by a pitch and scored on a double rocketed off of the left-field fence by Snapp. A throwing error by Coker second baseman Colton Henthorne scored Snapp from second.
Miguel Frias hit a 0-1 pitch over the right field with one out and no one on base in the sixth inning for his fourth home run of the season to pull the visiting group with five at 7-2.
Junior center fielder Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) walked to lead off the sixth inning and was on second base with one out. Kirby laced a single to left field to score Addington to give the Eagles a six-run lead.
Carson-Newman saw Campbell, Addington and Roberts record RBI doubles in the bottom of the seventh inning for a three-run frame to add the advantage to 11-2.
Junior catcher Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) launched his second home run of the season, a bomb over the right-field wall, with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning to cushion the lead to 12-2.
The Cobras scored two runs in the top of the ninth inning without hitting a ball out of the infield. An infield single to second by Clint Allen and an infield knock to shortstop by A.J. Strnad brought home the two runs in the 12-4 decision.
Five Eagles recorded multi-hit days at the office as Kirby and Snapp each with 2-for-4 with two RBIs and the home group pounded out 13 hits.
Senior left-hander Vince Apicella (Dillsburg, Pa.) improved to 5-2 on the season by working seven innings and allowing two earned runs on seven hits, two walks and 10 strikeouts.
"It helps a lot just having that lead and being able to go out there and not keeping a 0-0 game close," Apicella said. "It's just going out there and pitching and making pitches when it counts. The defense was fantastic today."
Dallas Baldwin (2-3) threw 124 pitches in the loss for Coker over five innings allowing seven runs, four earned on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
The two schools close out the weekend series Saturday with a twin-bill scheduled to begin at noon. Broadcast coverage begins at 11:50 a.m. with a pregame interview followed by uninterrupted play-by-play on cneagles.com/live with the Eagle Sports Network production.
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