ANDERSON, S.C. – Four wild pitches and a base knock to left field by Jimmy Rice saw Carson-Newman score three runs in the top of the ninth inning to come back and beat Anderson 7-6 Friday evening at Anderson Memorial Stadium.
"[I saw] a team that battled," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "We talked about our bench and the energy that they brought from the get-go. The bench throughout the game stayed energized and positive. It starts with that because we thrive on passion. It can't be just the guys playing, it has to be the guys that are role players."
Anderson (16-23, 7-9) sent Brock Goodling, the nation's leader in saves with 10, to the mound in the top of the ninth inning with a two-run lead. Senior catcher Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) hit a high hopper back up the middle off of Goodling's (0-3) hand for an infield single to start the inning.
The hurler unleashed two wild pitches to put a runner at third base and walked junior center fielder Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) who stole second base. A wild pitch scored a run and put Addington at third base.
Freshman right fielder Ian Pung (Knoxville, Tenn.) walked and moved to second base on a wild pitch that scored the tying run.
After a ground out and strikeout, Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) bounced a ball through the left side of the infield with Pung running to score the rookie and give the Eagles (23-15, 9-7) the lead.
Junior right-hander Raunel Perez (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) worked a 1-2-3 bottom of the ninth inning to pick up his first career save.
The first two men were retired in the top of the first inning when senior third baseman Brandon Roberts (Davie, Fla.) drew a seven-pitch walk. Sophomore left fielder Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) stepped to the plate and cranked a 3-1 pitch over the 380 sign in left-center field for his 11th home run of the season to make it 2-0 Eagles.
Tyler Miller was hit on the left shoulder by Carson-Newman starting pitcher Dustin Batson (Pisgah Forest, N.C.) on his first pitch of the game. Miller scored from first base on a double to the wall in left-center field by Steven Cooper to pull the Trojans within a run after an inning.
Junior first baseman Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) started the fifth inning with an infield single deep in the hole on the left side of the infield. Kirby crossed the plate on a double by Greer that bounced off of the warning track to extend the lead to 3-1.
Roberts drove a 1-2 pitch to the gap in right-center field and motored to third base for his third triple of the season. Snapp followed with a smash hit to third base that skipped off of the third baseman's glove and into left field to score Roberts and make it a three-run game.
L.J. Newman drove a 2-1 pitch from Batson over the left-field wall to start the sixth inning for the Trojans. Anderson loaded the bases with the next three batters reaching on a single, a walk and a base hit. Steven McKnight plated a run on sacrifice fly to right field to make it a 4-3 C-N lead.
An error by Snapp on a fly ball to left field allowed Cooper to reach with one out in the bottom of the seventh. Newman laced a single to left field. Two batters later with Newman at second and Cooper at third base, Garrett Bernardo flipped a single into center field to score two and give Anderson its first lead of the day at 5-4.
The first two men were retired on strikeouts to begin the bottom of the eighth inning before three consecutive singles capped by a base hit by Cooper right-center field added an insurance run to make it 6-4.
Batson tossed 7.2 innings striking out a career-high 11 batters while giving up six runs, five earned runs on 10 hits, two walks and two hit batters.
Greer went 3-for-3 in the game with an RBI while Snapp went 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
Anderson outhit Carson-Newman 10-8 but stranded 11 runners on base on the evening.
The two sides will close the series Saturday afternoon beginning at 1 p.m. with the first of a twin-bill. Pregame coverage begins at 12:50 p.m. on cneagles.com/live with play-by-play from the Eagle Sports Network.
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