VIDEO: Tom Griffin Interview
VIDEO: Gooch Greer
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn.—Carson-Newman capped off its first series-sweep of the 2017 campaign with a pair of wins over UVA-Wise Saturday afternoon as the Eagles continued to swing the bat well in 16-3 and 9-5 victories over the Cavs.
Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) tallied six hits on the day while senior backstop Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) blasted two home runs in game two. Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) also had a decent day at the office—collecting five hits overall with five runs batted in.
"Offensively, you have to like what we did today and it all started with Ryan Addington," coach Tom Griffin said following the day of action. "Our approaches were outstanding and we took pitches when we needed to. It was everybody top-to-bottom that had quality at-bats throughout the weekend."
Game 1: Carson-Newman 16, UVA Wise 3
The Cavs (3-4) jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning thanks to a hit and two Eagle errors in the frame.
Both of the miscues came off Carson-Newman's starter in the contest, Jordan Davis (Maryville, Tenn), as the freshman mishandled would should have been a routine sacrifice bunt to the second man in the order and air mailed a throw to third base that allowed a run to come across the plate two batters later.
Josh Haga scored on the throwing error for the first run of the contest while Staurt Paz's fly ball to center field brought in Noah Lacy for the second. Davis, however, was able to settle down by striking out Joey Skov to get out of the frame without allowing any more damage.
Carson-Newman (4-3) evened the score in the bottom of the frame when Kirby sent a 3-1 pitch over the left-center field wall for his first round tripper of the season. After one, the game was tied at two runs apiece.
The Eagles were at it again in the inning that followed as C-N plates four runs off three hits and two Cavalier errors. The first run of the frame came in off the bat of Trevor Lee (Garner, N.C.) as the short stop bobbled the routine, and potential, twin killing double play. Two more runs came in following an Addington single and a throwing error by the right fielder, Haga.
Both Lee and Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) came into score on the play to make the tally 5-2 in favor of the Eagles. Three pitches later, Adding came into score on a wild pitch from UVA-Wise's starting pitcher, Joe Catalani, for the sixth run of the day for the home team.
C-N hung another five runs on the board in the bottom of the fourth beginning with Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) driving in his second run of the season off a base-hit single to right field. Kirby followed with an RBI single to left field to bring in Lynch on the first baseman's third run driven in on the day.
Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) then sent a deep fly ball to center field that was long enough to bring in Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) from third base. Brett Langhorne (Mechanicsville, Va.) continued the trend with a run-scoring triple off the top of the left field wall. The scoring finally halted in the frame after Langhorne came into score on a wild pitch.
In the inning that followed, Snapp brought in Addington from second base on a one-out single up the middle to bring the score to a 10-run lead for Carson-Newman.
UVA-Wise finally broke through again in the top of the sixth inning as Paz led off the frame with a solo home run over the center field wall. Will Gardner (Morristown, Tenn.) settled down following only his third hit given up on the day by striking out the side to get out of the frame.
C-N pushed four more runs across the plat in the seventh as Snapp, Jordan Hinshaw (Elizabethton, Tenn.), who came into pinch hit, Jones and Rice all collected RBIs in the frame to push the score to 16-3 after seven innings.
The score held true for a final as C-N was victorious by a 13-run margin.
Picking up the win in relief for C-N was Gardner as the junior tallied five innings of work in relief to pick up his first Eagle win of his career. Gardner allowed only three hits during the outing and one earned run while striking out six batters. Drew Eller (Melbourne, Fla.), Tanner Fee (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Raunel Perez (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.) combined to pitch the final three innings of scoreless baseball for the Eagles.
"Our young pitchers came a long way this weekend and its all about getting them out there and getting experience," Griffin said. "We also have some veteran presence behind them like both Gardner and Plohr. They are emotional pitchers and feed off of energy, which I love. It was really good to see what those two guys did today."
It was another four-hit day from Addington as the center fielder was 4-for-5 at the plate with an RBI a day after claiming the South Atlantic Conference record for RBIs in a single contest. Kirby also tallied a multi-hit day as the senior drove in a team-high three runs.
Game 2: Carson-Newman 9, UVA-Wise 5
The Cavaliers broke out on top again on game two, when, following a single and an error, David Thomas tagged starter Ryan Eberle () for a three-run homer to right.
C-N responded with four runs in its half of the first. After Addington led off with a double and Lee singled, Snapp whacked a double off the left field wall to drive in a run. Three batters later, Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) put the Eagles in front with a three-run jack over the left field fence to make the score 4-3.
"I thought Greg Jones in game 1 had a really good game and Gooch Greer here in game two did an excellent job at the plate, but also working with our pitchers," Griffin said. "Those two are veteran guys who have been around a while. They commanded the pace, the mentality and the intensity. The last two years offensively, Greer has been real productive. We are very fortunate to have oth of those guys on our team."
In the second inning, the Eagles loaded the bases on a single, hit batter and a walk while one run came across on a wild pitch. With two outs, Kirby lined a single into right that brought home pair as Carson-Newman extended its lead to four runs. Greer pushed it to five one frame later by adding his second homer of the day.
After a rough start, Eberle got in a groove starting in the second and allowed just two earned runs over four innings. The righty retired 10 of the last 11 batters he faced and finished his outing with eight strikeouts, including his last four batters in-a-row.
The Carson-Newman offense tacked on a run in fifth and it was another rally sparked by Greer. The catcher was hit by a pitch, moved to second on a wild pitch and took third on a throwing error by the catcher. After Brett Langhorne walked, the Eagles orchestrated a successful double steal. Langhorne took off for second and drew a throw that allowed Greer to race home with his team's ninth run.
Robert Plohr () secured the twin bill sweep for the Eagles with three inning of relief work, earning C-N's first save of the season. After throwing scoreless ball in his first two innings, the senior ran into trouble in the seventh, when the Cavaliers pushed across two runs and loaded the bases to bring up the tying run.
Still, Plohr retired the side to secure C-N's first series-sweep of the season after working 3.0 innings of two-hit baseball while striking out five in the save. Eberle took home his first win of the season following the four-inning, eight-strike out effort.
Taking home the loss for the Cavs was starting pitcher Trevor Nevill. The junior surrendered seven runs off six hits in only two innings of work. A combined four pitchers tossed the final five innings on the day while surrendering two more runs.
Offensively, Greer stole the show with his second multi home run day of his career while also driving in four runs. Adding and Kirby each tallied two more hits in the win while the latter drove in a pair.
Carson-Newman will be back in action Tuesday afternoon at Belmont Abbey beginning at 2:30 p.m. Michael Wottreng will have the call for the Eagle Sports Network and will take the airwaves at 2:20 p.m.