HARTSVILE, S.C. – Carson-Newman overcame a 3-0 deficit late in game one to win 7-3 in 10 innings before rolling to a 10-6 win in a doubleheader at Coker Saturday afternoon at Tom J. New Field to open the series against the Cobras.
"It's always good to get the first two out of the way and have a series in hand," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "We swung the bats well in coming back late in the first game. The guys stuck with it hitting with two strikes. In game two we came out strong and even though they were able to get some runs late, we were in command for the whole game."
After taking of two of three against Newberry last weekend, Carson-Newman (11-6, 4-1) has won back-to-back series to open a year in the SAC for the first time since 2015. It is the first time in two tries that the Eagles have taken a series at Coker (9-6, 0-5).
Game One: CARSON-NEWMAN 7, Coker 3 – 10 innings
Coker opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning as Tanner Crosby drew a lead-off walk before stealing second and moving to third on a wild pitch. A ground out to second by Reilly Hall brought it Crosby and give Coker a 1-0 edge.
C-N was hitless through the first four innings of play as Colby Morgan (Hixson, Tenn.) lined a single into center field with two outs.
A Jon Koski home run to right field with two out in the fifth frame and a run-scoring base hit to center by Crosby in the seventh pushed the score to 3-0 as the Eagles had three hits on the day.
A walk and an error put two runners on for C-N in the top of the eighth inning for pinch hitter Jordan Griffin (Ellerslie, Ga.). The rookie rocketed a triple into center field to score a pair. Brett Langhorne (Mechiancsville, Va.) followed with a base hit to right to score Griffin and tie the contest at three.
Three straight 1-2-3 stanzas sent the game into extra innings when in the top of the 10th the Eagles saw their first two batters retired. Langhorne opened a rally with a base knock back up the middle. Back-to-back RBI triples from Micah Genter (Jasper, Tenn.) and Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) made it a two-run game. A double from Ethan Goforth (Blacksburg, Va.) and a single from Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) expanded the margin to four at 7-3.
Greg Valentine (Knoxville, Tenn.) worked his third straight 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the 10th to seal the win. The right-hander struck out three while earning his fourth win of the year.
Dillon Cate (Sevierville, Tenn.) worked seven innings as the C-N starting pitcher allowing three earned runs on eight hits and a walk while punching out six batters.
Langhorne paced the offense with his fourth three-hit game of the year going 3-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Goforth had a pair of pokes while six players drove in a run.
Coker mustered eight hits in the game by eight different players. Griffin Hollifield, an All-SAC reliever in 2017, took the loss giving up four earned runs on five hits in three innings.
Game Two: CARSON-NEWMAN 10, Coker 6
After Langhorne grounded out to start the first inning, Genter walked and went to third on a base hit from Snapp. Goforth ripped a double to left field and John Sharpe (Franklin, Tenn.) followed with a two-run single to left as C-N went ahead 4-0 before Coker had a chance to hit the bat rack.
The Eagles scored three times in the second off of one hit to balloon the lead to 7-0. With two outs, back-to-back hit batters and a wild pitch put men at second and third base while an error scored Genter. A fielding error at shortstop plated Snapp and Sharpe delivered with a second run-scoring hit.
Snapp started the top of the fourth with a double down the left-field line. Two batters later, Sharpe singled through the left side of the infield to score Snapp to make it 8-0.
Cal Smith (Keller, Texas) was hit by a pitch to open the fifth frame. Langhorne followed with a double to put men at second and third. Genter grounded out to second to score Smith and Snapp drove home Langhorne with a single to left expanding the lead to 10-0.
The Cobras loaded the bases in the fifth as Bryson Conner drew a walk to get the home group on the board. In the sixth, a throwing error and an RBI triple by K.J. Curry made it a 10-3 entering the seventh.
Coker scored three more times in the bottom of the seventh. With the tying run in the on-deck circle, Curry took a called third strike to close out the contest.
Snapp and Sharpe each had three hits in the game with Snapp scoring three times and Sharpe driving in three runs as each team tallied 13 knocks on the day.
Brooks Estrada went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and Michael Serafin came off of the bench to go 3-for-3 with two runs scored.
Kyle Cagle (Fairview, N.C.) improved to 2-0 on the year by scattering six hits and yielding a run with four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings pitched.
Cody Brown lasted five outs for Coker giving up seven runs, three earned, on four hits and a walk to take the loss for the Cobras.
The two teams will tangle Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. as the Eagles look to take home a sweep. Updates on Sunday will be posted on Twitter by following @CNathletics on Twitter while live game videowill be provided by the Coker media relations department.
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