JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Lenoir-Rhyne snapped Carson-Newman's seven-game winning streak with a 4-3 win in game one before the Eagles bounced back to hold off a late rally with an 8-7 victory in the nightcap to capture the South Atlantic Conference series Saturday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
"To get a series win is the ultimate goal," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "There are some things that we are going to work on and correct. That's what training is all about. I have my notes for it. Bottom line is we want to enjoy the fact that we took this series here at home. We battled, competed and held on no matter how it went."
Carson-Newman (18-17, 7-8) has now won 12 home series in 14 tries against Lenoir-Rhyne (19-15, 5-10) at home dating back to the 1990 season including a string of eight consecutive.
Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) went 6-for-7 overall on the day scoring twice and driving in a run to lead the C-N offense that was outhit in each of the three games in the series.
"It's huge especially knowing that they have some power arms," Addington said of the series win. "I didn't have a good day yesterday. I came back today. Everybody seemed to be helping at the plate so that's good that we got every one going."
GAME ONE: LENOIR-RHYNE 4, Carson-Newman 3
The Eagles scored the game's first run in to top of the second inning. There were two runners on with two outs as Addington rolled a single through the right side of the infield to score Trever Lee (Garner, N.C.) to make it 1-0.
In the top of the third inning, Lenoir-Rhyne batted around and scored three times. Justin Dean and Marcus Shoemaker singled to open the inning. A wild pitch scored Dean from third base. With two on, David Newcomer punched a base hit into left field to score one and an error by Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) in left field allowed the third run of the frame to score and put L-R ahead 3-1.
Snapp flew out to left right field to start the bottom of the third inning. Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) bunted down the third base line and ended up at third base on a throwing error and a fielding error. Landon Whitson uncorked a wild pitch to score Kirby and make it a one-run game at 3-2.
Alex Reynolds started the top of the fifth inning with a double to the wall in left-center field for the Bears. Newcomer moved Reynolds to third base on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a wild pitch to push the lead to a pair at 4-2.
A hit batter and a double from Addington began the bottom of the seventh inning for Carson-Newman. Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) grounded out to shortstop to score Joe Selitto (Newton, N.J.) and pull the home club within a run at 4-3. A shallow fly out to left field and a strikeout ended the threat as L-R maintained the lead.
Ryan Eberle (Cookeville, Tenn.) took the loss to fall to 2-5 despite recording a career-high 10 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings allowing four earned runs on 10 hits and five walks.
Addington went 3-for-5 with a run driven in while Lynch and Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) each notched a pair of hits in the game.
Landon Whitson (2-2) earned the win going six innings allowing three runs, two earned on eight hits with four punch outs. Tad Ratliff (3) picked up the save in relief firing three innings of one-hit baseball with four K's.
Dean went 3-for-5 while Newcomer and Josh Kent each had a pair of base hits.
GAME TWO: CARSON-NEWMAN 8, Lenoir-Rhyne 7
Addington started the bottom of the first inning with a base hit into left field and moved to second base on a walk to Dom Leo (Knoxville, Tenn.). A strikeout of Snapp was the first out of the frame. Addington on a base hit to center field by Kirby to make it a 1-0 contest.
Will Gardner (Morristown, Tenn.) walked the first two batters in the fourth inning before a pop out for the first out. David Newcomer bounced a single into left field to score Brandon Lam. A two-run double off of the wall in right field by Josh Kent brought home a pair to make it 3-1 Bears.
Carson-Newman strung together hits in the bottom of the fourth to regain the lead scoring four times to make it 5-3. Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) laced a hit off of the wall in right field and Brett Langhorne (Mechiancsville, Tenn.) doubled to the base of the wall in left-center field to put runners at second and third base. A balk scored Jones. Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) bounced a ball inside of the third base bag to score Langhorne on a double to tie the game at three. Selitto singled home Greer with a base hit to center field and scored as Addington shoveled a single through the left-side of the infield.
Kirby drew a walk on five pitches in the bottom of the fifth frame. The next pitch thrown was cranked over the right-field wall by Jones for his fourth long ball in five games to stretch the advantage to 7-3.
Addington picked up his third single of the day to right field then stole second and third base before scoring on a sacrifice fly to center field by Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) to extend the lead to 8-3.
The Bears batted around in the top of the seventh inning. As Zach Jacobs cranked a three-run home run to center field to make it an 8-6 contest. Alex Reynolds singled and Kent walked. A base hit into center field by Matthew Freeman pulled the Bears within a run at 8-7. Zack Shoemaker struck out looking to end the game.
Gardner (4-2) earned the victory despite allowing seven runs on 11 hits, a career-high five walks with four strikeouts tossing his second straight complete game.
Addington went 3-for-3 with a pair of runs scored. Jones drove in a pair and scored twice going 2-for-3.
Newcomer tallied three hits in four at-bats while Jacobs reached base four times and had two hits with three RBIs and two runs scored.
The season continues Tuesday afternoon for the Eagles as C-N travels to King (Tenn.) for a 3:30 first pitch from Bristol. The game will have an audio stream available on cneagles.com/live beginning 15 minutes prior to first pitch with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to First Pitch" on the Eagle Sports Network.
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