BRISTOL, Tenn. – Carson-Newman cranked out 14 hits to overcome five errors and three separate deficits to top King 11-9 Wednesday afternoon at the King Baseball Field in the final non-conference road trip of 2016.
The Eagles (25-16) are now a flawless 6-0 in Bristol against the Tornado (14-27) and have won four consecutive games against King.
"When you make five errors in a game it's tough to win," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "I thought our offense did a good job getting runners on and getting some timely hits. We made some changes late in the game and I thought the guys that came in did an exceptional job. It created a little more energy for us which we kind of needed."
Redshirt-freshman Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) just missed a home run with one out in the top of third inning lacing a triple off of the right-field fence. Campbell came into score as junior Trever Lee (Garner, N.C.) laid down a perfect squeeze bunt to get the Eagles ahead 1-0.
King dismissed Carson-Newman starting pitcher Grant Rabbitts (Johnson City, Tenn.) four batters into bottom of the third inning as the Tornado scored three runs. A hit batter and a double began the frame. Mark Hencken drove in those two runners with a bouncing single into center field. Ryan Whitt scored Hencken on a base hit to center to put the Tornado ahead 3-1.
Senior third baseman Brandon Roberts (Davie, Fla.) and sophomore designated hitter Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) began the fourth inning with singles. Junior shortstop Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) laced a ball down the right-field line to score his two teammates as he arrived at second base with a game-tying double.
Tyler Bailey started the bottom half of the fourth inning with a single through the right side of the infield. Carson-Newman reliever Kai Storm (Simi Valley, Calif.) uncorked a wild pitch and threw an attempted pick-off at second base into center field to allow Bailey to score and put the home group on top at 4-3.
The Eagles manufactured two runs in the top of the fifth frame to take a 5-4 advantage. With one out, junior center fielder Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) reached on a fielding error at second base and swiped second. Freshman right fielder Ian Pung (Knoxville, Tenn.) drew a walk and the duo stole second and third base. Roberts walked to load the bases. Gus Gill tossed back-to-back wild pitches to score Addington and Pung with two outs.
Freshman righty Austin Conner (Sevierville, Tenn.) entered in the bottom of the fifth inning to pitch and promptly gave up a single, a walk and a base hit to load the bases. After a fly out, Austin Dayton singled into center field to tie the score at five. Bailey bounced to Lee at second who flipped to Rice and the shortstop's throw sailed past first base and into the dugout to allow two runs to score and make it 7-5 King.
The Tornado expanded the lead to 9-5 scoring a pair in the bottom of the sixth. With runners at second and third base, Preston Douglas hit a sacrifice fly to right field to score one runner. Hencken was hit by a pitch and the team attempted a double steal, Hencken was thrown out at second but a run scored.
Junior Eric Lynch (Booton, N.J.) and Addington singled to start the seventh and moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt from Pung. Roberts drove a 1-0 pitch into the right-center field alley to score Lynch and Addington. Redshirt-sophomore Graham Warren (Franklin, Tenn.) doubled off of the fence in left-center field to score Roberts and make it a one-run contest.
Senior Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) reached on an infield single to the left side of the infield and moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Lynch was hit by a pitch and Addington singled to load the bases. Bailey bobbled a grounded to short to allow Greer to score to tie the game. Roberts reached on an infield single and a throwing error allowed Addington to score to put C-N ahead 11-9.
Roberts went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored and Addington went 3-for-5 with three runs scored to lead nine different players that recorded base knocks for C-N.
Freshman Ryan Victory (Brentwood, Tenn.) picked up his first career victory tossing a flawless 1.2 innings of work with a strikeout. Junior Raunel Perez (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) picked up his second save working the ninth giving up a hit and striking out a batter.
C-N committed five errors in the game, its most of the 2016 season and most since recording six miscues at Smokies Park against the Tornado in a 15-5 loss on April 2, 2014.
The Eagles return home for their final home series of South Atlantic Conference regular season play Friday at 3 p.m. against Catawba for the first of a three-game series. The Eagle Sports Network will provide play-by-play coverage on cneagles.com/live with audio and video coverage.
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