NEWBERRY, S.C. – Carson-Newman scored a comeback 8-7 win the game one before suffering a 5-1 defeat in the series finale with Newberry Saturday afternoon at the Smith Road Complex to take two out of three games over the South Atlantic Conference's opening weekend.
"It's nice to win the series on the road especially after not winning one last season," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "Brett Langhorne may have had a hit that could be the biggest of our season to help us win game one. Will Gardner was lights out.
"It was a terrible coaching job not having the guys prepared to win the series. They weren't prepared fundamentally to handle that kind of workload on a long week."
It is a road series victory for Carson-Newman (9-5, 2-1) for the first time since the last series of 2016 against Tusculum as the Eagles win a three-game set at Newberry (5-8, 1-2) for the first time since 2013.
Overall on the weekend, C-N pitching struck out 26 batters against a group of Wolves that was the most difficult in the league to retire on strikes entering play.
GAME ONE: CARSON-NEWMAN 8, Newberry 7
The Eagles opened the scoring in the top of the second inning as Ethan Goforth (Blacksburg, Va.) was hit by a pitch and stole second to start the frame. After a fly out, John Sharpe (Franklin, Tenn.) ripped a double into right field to put the visitors ahead 1-0.
An error helped get a run for Newberry in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game. The Wolves took the lead on a base hit into right field by Ruben Trillo making the contest 2-1.
C-N struck for four in the top of the fifth to regain the lead at 5-2. Brett Langhorne (Mechiancsville, Va.) drove a double to left field to open the scoring. Following a sacrifice fly, Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) and Goforth delivered run-producing base knocks.
However, Newberry scored five runs over its next two at-bats as a fielder's choice and a passed ball plated a pair in bottom of the fifth to make it a one-run game.
With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the sixth, Derek Olenchuk cleared the bases with a double down the left-field line to put the Eagles in a 7-5 hole.
In the top of the eighth, Sharpe singled with one out and was standing at first base with two outs. Back-to-back two-out hits loaded the bags for Langhorne. The senior pummeled a 1-1 offering into the gap in right-center field to clear the bases and give C-N an 8-7 advantage.
Will Gardner (Morristown, Tenn.) retired the side in order in the bottom of the ninth to seal the win as the righty hurled the final 3 1/3 scoreless frames with six strikeouts allowing two hits and a walk.
Langhorne polished off the day by going 3-for-5 with four RBIs, his second four-RBI day of his career, with a run scored on the day.
Newberry left 11 runners on base in the game as Carson-Newman went 7-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
GAME TWO: NEWBERRY 5, Carson-Newman 1
In its first two trips to the play, C-N sent the minimum as Newberry scratched the scoreboard in the bottom of the second inning. With two on and one out, Tyler Ackard lined a base hit into left to put the Wolves on top 1-0.
After adding to the lead with an RBI single to left from Colin Allman in the third inning, Newberry scored three times in the fourth. An error brought in the first run of the stanza as a two-run single to right by Ian Clements provided the big blow and push the margin to 5-0.
Cal Smith singled to start the top of the sixth for the Eagles and advanced to second on a balk. Charlie Brown (Sevierville, Tenn.) provided C-N's only run with a run-scoring single down the right-field line.
The Eagles put a runner at third base in the top of the seventh but could not muster a hit as the team went 1-for-9 with runners on base in the game.
Newberry starter Ryan Harbin went the distance to his second win of the year. He allowed one earned run on five hits and a walk while punching out four.
Griffin's group will get back between the lines on Tuesday afternoon with a 2 p.m. first pitch slated against King (Tenn.). The Eagle Sports Network will have the call starting at 1:45 on cneagles.com/live with audio and video streams available.
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