Batson throws Division II season-high 11 innings as Eagles fall 2-1

VIDEO: Tom Griffin Interview

JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Dustin Batson tossed more innings than any Division II pitcher in 2016 but Carson-Newman stranded 10 men on base as Catawba picked up a game one victory 2-1 Friday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex in South Atlantic Conference action.

Batson (Pisgah Forest, N.C.) had retired 14 straight Indians when Albertson launched the first pitch of the 11th inning just over the top of the yellow tape in right field to give Catawba (26-15, 14-5) its only lead of the day.

The senior right-hander allowed two earned runs on nine hits and two walks with a career-high 14 strikeouts throwing 166 pitches while holding in check an offense that ranks in the top six nationally in five categories.

The documented program record for Carson-Newman (25-17, 10-9) in innings pitched was set by Clyde Wright throwing 13 innings against Wisconsin-Whitewater in the NAIA World Series in 1965.

According to the Division II record books, the high mark is 19 frames set by Sam Newby of Morningside versus Omaha on May 7, 1977.

The league record was set by Lincoln Memorial's Scot Shields against Montevallo over two days on March 16-17, 1997 when the former big leaguer threw 16 innings.

"You saw a gutty performance," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "The breaking ball was really sharp. He was throwing it 3-2. Him and Gooch [Greer] were really locked in with a good mix of pitches which you have to be able to do against really good teams. You have to be able to mix. You have to be able to locate. He did all of that today obviously because that's what kept us in the game."

The extra-inning affair was the first such game the two schools had played since Feb. 20, 2000 when the Indians earned a 3-2 win in 10 innings at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.

Junior shortstop Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) smashed a ball to third baseman Jake Kimble that he smothered but could not throw out Rice to put the lead-off man aboard in the bottom of the fifth inning. Following a fly out to left, junior second baseman Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) reached on a fielding error by Catawba second baseman Dylan Richardson to put two on base. With two outs, junior center fielder Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) lined a 3-1 pitch into center field to score Rice and put the Eagles ahead 1-0.

With one out in the top of the sixth inning, Chance Bowden doubled for the nation's leading 27th time of the year off of the wall in left-center field. Bryce Fowler lined the next pitch into center field to score Bowden and tie the score at one.

Carson-Newman put the lead-off base runner aboard from the fifth to the ninth inning while stranding runners at third base twice. In the seventh inning, redshirt-freshman left fielder Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base with one out on a throw from left fielder Zach Almond.

Overall the Eagles left 10 men on base on the day as sophomore designated hitter Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) was the only home player to finish with a multi-hit day going 2-for-5.

Albertson, Bowden and Fowler each had two hits to lead the Indians offense as four pitchers out of the bullpen allowed just a walk and a hit in three scoreless innings.

Saturday afternoon has two games scheduled beginning at noon as the schools finish the series. Pregame coverage starts 10 minutes prior to the first pitch on with audio and video streams available on the Eagle Sports Network.

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