JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman will play host to King (Tenn.) Tuesday at 3 p.m. and Shorter Wednesday at 3 p.m. at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex marking the only time in 2016 that the Eagles host two teams in midweek contests.
Carson-Newman has belted 40 home runs in 2016, the most in the Tom Griffin-era surpassing 33 set in 2008 & 2012. It's the most since the 2003 season when the Eagles hit 47.
Carson-Newman's 16 home victories this season are the most since the Eagles went 20-3 at the SDBC during the 2008 campaign. With a win Tuesday or Wednesday, C-N would match the second-most home wins, 17 in 2006, since Tom Griffin took over in 2006.
The Eagles and the Tornado will be on the diamond for the 21st time with C-N holding the all-time series history record at 14-6 including an 8-4 record since 2006, Griffin's first season as head coach.
The two sides will meet twice in the next seven days as the Eagles picked up a pair of victories a season ago. In the Feb. 10 meeting at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex, The Eagles won 7-4 as C-N tallied at least one hit in each of the first seven innings as eight different players had a hit in the contest. Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) led the way with a 3-for-5 day at the park with a double and two RBI.
King is 3-7 on the road this season and despite taking two out of three games over Emmanuel last weekend, the Tornado went 7-13 during the month of March and are in sixth place in the Conference Carolinas standings.
At the plate, the Tornado have eight regulars that are hitting above .311 as the team as a whole is 38th in Division in team batting average with a combined mark of .322.
King has 80 doubles, ranking 12th in the country and has pounded out 399 hits ranking 11th in the nation. With 29 home runs, the squad is 48th nationally while ranking 34th among the 254 D2 teams with 252 total runs scored.
The pitching staff has been another story as the the hurlers rank in the bottom third in the nation in almost every category. With an earned run average of 6.53 and a WHIP of 1.81, the pitchers rank 194th and 205th respectively.
Senior catcher Mark Hencken is seventh in the nation in doubles with 16 while compiling a .357 batting average. Ryan Whitt is hitting .394 on the season placing 49th in the country with 50 total hits.
Junior righty Andrew Phemister is the Division II leader in pitching appearances with 20 on the year but is 1-1 with a 7.13 ERA.
The Eagles and Hawks will meet for just the third time and the first meeting at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex with C-N winning in Georgia from 2014-16.
Carson-Newman picked up its first win of the season on Feb. 10 taking home a 6-3 victory as Ryan Eberle (Cookeville, Tenn.) tossed his first-career complete game allowing three earned runs on seven hits and two walks with six strikeouts on the day.
Shorter is just 3-11 in road contests during the 2016 season and has lost eight consecutive away games with the last win away from the Robert H. Ledbetter Baseball Complex coming against Union in the middle game a three-game series on Feb. 20, 7-5.
Overall, the Hawks have won just one of their last 14 games and since starting 7-4, they are 4-18 in their last 22 outings.
Getting on base has been the biggest issue for Shorter this season as the team ranks 222nd in team on-base percentage with a .330 clip and 238th in batting average having hit .236 as a group. Only two players are hitting over .300 on the season led by senior Dustin Lawson's .404 batting average.
Once getting on base, the Hawks are excellent having swiped 60 bases on the year, 23rd in the nation, with six players between five-10 stolen bases.
The pitching staff does not fare much better posting a 6.90 team ERA, 208th nationally with a WHIP of 5.39, 229th in the country. In a 27-8 loss to Lincoln Memorial on March 8, 12 pitchers combined to allow 19 base on balls, the most in a single game at the Division II level this season.
The team's fielding percentage is .943, 211th in the nation.
Each game will be broadcast on cneagles.com/live beginning at 2:50 p.m. with the Carson-Newman Baseball pregame show courtesy of the Eagle Sports Network with high definition video and audio streams available.
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