Theatrical Eagles nab SAC road series at Anderson

VIDEO: Tom Griffin Interview

ANDERSON, S.C. – Carson-Newman clinched its second road series victory of the season after falling 11-2 in the first game of a twin-bill by topping Anderson 5-4 Saturday afternoon at Anderson Memorial Stadium.

The Eagles (24-16, 10-8) have now won four of the six South Atlantic Conference series played with the Trojans (17-24, 8-10) dating back to 2011 and hold a 19-7 advantage in the all-time series history.

"You lose a game like the first game – we did not execute well from the beginning," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "We were able to shut it out and Vinny was strong and does what he does – competes. You have a lead that's given up and all of a sudden that's another punch in the belly. It's those trials and tribulations and realizing that you have to go to the next pitch and we were able to do that."

Game One – Anderson 11, Carson-Newman 2

The Trojans sent 10 men to the plate in the first inning and pushed seven runs across the plate. Each of the first six batters reached base safely. An error put a runner at first base. Back-to-back doubles by Kyle Bailey and Steven Cooper plated the first two runs. After a single to right field by L.J. Newman, Carson Barrett looped a single into right to score a run. An error and a sacrifice fly made it 5-0. Steven McKnight launched a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right field for a two-run blast to cap the scoring in the initial stanza.

Senior catcher Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) hit a high fly ball to left field that Matthew Powell lost in the sun and Greer coasted into second base for a lead-off double in the top of the third inning. A wild pitch sent Greer to third base and a ground out to second by junior center fielder Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) scored Greer and make it a 7-1 game.

With two outs in the bottom of the third inning, the third error of the game by the Eagles put a runner at first base. Tyler Miller lined a double off of the fence in left field to get the run back for the home team.

Redshirt-freshman left fielder Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) reached first base on a bunt single, moved to second base on a throwing error and went to third base on a wild pitch with one out in the top of the fourth frame. A ground out to shortstop by junior second baseman Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) made it an 8-2 Anderson lead.

The Trojans added a run in the bottom of the seventh inning as Carson Barrett walked to start the inning and scored from first base on a one-out double to right field by Zach McIlroy to push the lead back to seven runs.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Anderson scored two runs thanks to a bases loaded hit batter and a bases loaded walk issued to make it an 11-2 contest.

The Trojans outhit the Eagles 11-5 as Newman went 3-for-4 while Barrett and McIlroy added a pair of hits each.

Carson-Newman starting pitcher Ryan Eberle (Cookeville, Tenn.) fell to 5-3 on the season after allow 10 hits, a career-high six walks, nine runs, four earned runs and six strikeouts.

Ryan Owens (3-4) picked up the victory for the home team tossing six innings while allowing just two runs, one earned on three hits, five walks and one strikeout.

Game Two – Carson-Newman 5, Anderson 4

Addington drove the third pitch of the game down the left-field line for a lead-off double in the first inning. Freshman right fielder Ian Pung (Knoxville, Tenn.) walked. Addington stole third base and then stole home as Pung tried to take second but was caught as the Eagles scored the game's first run.

The first two men were retired in the bottom of the first when Cooper was hit by a pitch and Newman doubled to left field. Garrett Bernardo stepped to the plate and trickled a hit into center field to score the duo and put the Trojans ahead 2-1.

The Eagles tied the score in the top of the second inning. Junior shortstop Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) walked to begin the stanza and moved to third base on a double to right field by junior first baseman Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.). A wild pitch allowed Rice to score from 90 feet away.

Carson-Newman took a 4-2 advantage in the top of the third inning. Pung drew a walk to begin the frame. Roberts followed with an infield single and Rice walked to load the bases. Kirby hit into a 6-4 fielder's choice to score Pung. With two outs, junior catcher Zach Gentry (Pleasant View, Tenn.) lined a single into center field to score Roberts.

With two outs in the home half of the fourth inning, the Trojans loaded the bases on a walk, a single and a walk. Kyle Bailey shoved a 0-2 offering into right field to score a pair and tie the score at four.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Eagles loaded the bases with three singles from Pung, Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) and Rice with one out. Kirby hit a ground ball to shortstop but hustled down the line to break up the double play and allow Pung to score to give the Eagles a 5-4 lead.

Bailey began the bottom of the ninth inning with an infield single to the right side of the infield. The next batter, Cooper, poked a single into centerfield and Bailey was thrown out trying to go to third base. Newman flew out to center field and Bernardo grounded out to shortstop to end the game.

Senior left-hander Vince Apicella (Dillsburg, Pa.) tossed his fifth career complete game to improve to 7-2 on the season as he allowed four earned runs on five hits and four walks while striking out five.

Addington, Roberts and Kirby each had two hits as the Eagles picked up 10 base knocks on the day.

Carson-Newman is back in action Tuesday afternoon when the Eagles travel to Bristol, Tenn. to challenge King at 3 p.m. The Eagle Sports Network will have audio coverage beginning at 2:50 p.m. on

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