JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Game week for Carson-Newman baseball is upon us as the final part of a three-part series looking at the position previews conclude with a glance around the infield with senior Cade Snapp.
The infield dirt will have a new look to it after the same trio had been in tact over the last two years at first base with Paul Kirby, second base with Eric Lynch and shortstop with Jimmy Rice. Those three players missed a total of 21 games out of a possible 315 games in 2016 and 2017.
Snapp started six games at first base in 2017 with Kirby out with an injury and expects to see time in the outfield as well. The Seymour, Tenn. native had two hits in four of the last six games of the year. The senior has been one of the team's most reliable middle of the order hitters with 99 RBIs over his sophomore and senior campaigns.
Since his injury-shortened first season, Snapp has seen his batting average and on-base percentage climb to a .312 and .372 tune in 2017.
"I'm trying to have the best year yet," Snapp stated. "Obviously I want to hit a little better than I did last year. I'd like to have my fielding percentage back up to a decent level and have a good year as a team."
At the hot corner, the Eagles return a South Atlantic Conference honorable mention at third base in Brett Langhorne (Mechiancsville, Va.). In 2017, he tied for the team lead in stolen bases with 17 hitting .323 with six long balls and 35 RBIs.
"I'm just trying to stay consistent," Langhorne stated. "I'm trying to do everything well again. I am out training with coach getting ground balls. Just trying to remain calm and go into the season with high expectations as well as some of my teammates and trying to lead us to a good season."
After February, Langhorne hit .387 and notched 15 multi-hit games on the season with eight multi-RBI efforts. In the 2017 SAC Championships, the third baseman went 12-for-22 at the plate with seven runs scored and drove in the game-winning run against Coker in an elimination game with a double to right field in the eighth inning.
Cleveland State Community College transfer John Sharpe (Franklin, Tenn.) should see a significant amount of the time at shortstop. The junior posted a .326 batting average with six homers and 28 runs knocked in for the Cougars in 2017. He hit a long ball in three straight weekend series to open the month of April.
Bradley, a product of Jefferson County High School, was named the Lakeway Area Pitcher of the Year by the Citizen Tribune after a solid senior season. The two-way star went 10-1 on the mound posting a 1.43 earned run average with 74 strikeouts in 73 innings pitched. At the plate, he registered a .312 batting average with 24 RBIs and 23 runs scored.
Morgan starred at Boyd Buchanan High School where he hit .481 as a junior with nine homers, 11 doubles and 38 RBIs.
"A bunch of younger guys have good sticks," Snapp assessed. "I think we can do something with that and keep us going. There's a bunch of talent, a bunch of good gloves. I know that they are ready to play. They are ready to hit and give it their all."
First pitch in 2018 is scheduled for Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. as the Eagles take on Limestone over the opening weekend of play from Founders FCU Stadium.
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