JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman plays host to Newberry for a three-game South Atlantic Conference weekend at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex beginning Friday at 3 p.m. looking to win a seventh straight home series against the Wolves.
"Coach [Russell] Triplett has done a great job with this program developing his style," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "He played at Clemson and is a Jack Leggett disciple. You know that all facets of the game are going to be covered. Defensively they are good. They communicate well. They have good team speed. They are athletic. They're going to put pressure on you. Their pitching staff is outstanding."
The series features two of the top pitching staffs in league action this season. Newberry (24-10-1, 7-5) has allowed the second fewest runs (60) and home runs (8) in SAC games this year. Carson-Newman (19-13, 6-6) has allowed the third fewest runs (64) while walking the third fewest batters (38).
The two programs have met 53 times prior to this weekend with Carson-Newman holding a 36-17 all-time lead including a 20-13 mark since Tom Griffin took over in 2006.
The Eagles have won each of the last six series played the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex including four series sweeps. The last time Newberry earned a series victory at Mossy Creek came during the 2003 season when the Wolves won two out of three games on March 22-23. 2003 is the last time Carson-Newman won the SAC regular season championship finishing league action with a 13-7 mark.
In 2015, the Wolves picked up their first sweep of the Eagles since 2011 winning a trio of close contests. Jeff Snead hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning in game two and Newberry scored five runs in the sixth inning to overcome a 2-0 deficit to win the final game of the series.
The series has typically been low scoring as neither program has scored double-digit runs in any of the last 11 contests. C-N was the last team to reach double figures win 12-4 on April 14, 2012 as the Eagles hit three homers in the game.
Newberry enters the weekend having won eight of the last 10 games while winning three of the four SAC series it has played. The only series lost was when Lincoln Memorial swept the Wolves on March 4-5.
Offensively, the Wolves are one of the best teams in the nation in getting on base ranking 42nd nationally in on-base percentage with a .408 clip. With 349 total hits on the year, Newberry is 14th nationally and have walked 151 times, ninth in Division II. Once they get on base, Newberry has swiped 61 bases on the year, 12th in the country.
Carson-Newman's catchers have been extremely effective in throwing out would-be base stealers this season having gunned down 63 percent of stolen-base attempts, nearly 40 percentage points higher than the next closest team in the league.
Seven individuals have recorded at least two triples in 2016 to put the team second nationally in three-baggers. The Wolves do not have a player that ranks in the top-10 in any of the major offensive stats.
Senior outfielder JoJo Bradley was a preseason first-team All-SAC selection and is hitting .292 with a home run and 21 RBIs.
On the mound, Newberry is third in the league in earned run average with a 4.78 and strikeouts at 269. Senior right-hander Daniel Nations is the reigning SAC Pitcher of the Week and a preseason second-team All-SAC hurler ranking third in the league at 2.70 and fifth in punch out with 52.
All three games will be available in high definition on cneagles.com/live courtesy of the Eagle Sports Network. Pregame coverage begins 10 minutes prior to the first pitch with pregame interviews.
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