JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – After its originally scheduled home opener was washed out on Wednesday, Carson-Newman welcomes Alderson Broaddus to the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex for a four-game series starting Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. The teams will play a doubleheader starting at noon on Saturday and wrap it up on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Since Carson-Newman (3-1) joined Division II in 1994, the Eagles are 21-4 in home openers including 11-2 under Griffin since he took over in 2006. The Eagles have won six straight home openers with their last loss in a lidlifter at home coming on Feb. 21, 2012 when King took home a 10-7 victory.
That stretch has provided some interesting lines as each of the last two years the Eagles have opened with 11-3 and 18 triumphs over Virginia-Wise. The four prior wins were tighter with three straight one-run efforts and a 5-3 win over seventh-ranked Lander on Feb. 12 2013.
Griffin has led his group to a 70-34 record at home since the beginning of the 2015 campaign. In that span the group is posting just shy of eight runs per game scoring 792 over those 104 contests. The pitching staff's earned run average has been between one and two runs better in each of those years with the exception of 2018 when it was a half of a run higher.
The two clubs have met once before playing a doubleheader at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex on Feb. 19, 2005. The Eagles dominated the two contests winning 15-0 and 10-0 posting a 27-6 advantage in hits.
In the first contest, C-N scored seven runs in the first frame and 11 over the first three stanzas. Nathan Gravley led the charge with a 3-for-3 day with two homers, five RBIs and two runs scored. Brian Chapman had three hits and drove in four as five players had multiple knocks.
Matt Teague took the mound in the second game and went the distance punching out six walking three and yielding two hits over seven shutout innings. Chapman and Jonathan Mary each drove in a pair.
Alderson Broaddus is playing its first game of the year after going 11-32 in 2018 playing 34 games away from home. The team began the year 0-4 including two losses at Coker while producing losing skids of six, seven and eight games.
The Battlers are members of the Great Midwest Conference. The Eagles have played six teams from that conference in their history posting a 14-4 record. C-N has fellow GMAC members Davis & Elkins and Trevecca Nazerene on the docket in 2019.
Looking back at the 2018 national statistics, Alderson Broaddus ranked in the bottom 15 in America in five separate categories. Only three teams had a lower on-base percentage than the .317 posted by the Battlers last year. The team had the fifth-lowest fielding percentage at .933.
The picture was not much better on the mound with the hurlers placing 214th out of 262 teams in hits allowed per nine innings at 11.53, 223rd in strikeouts per nine innings at 6.3 and 212th in walks per nine frames at 5.22.
Coach Matt Yurish, in his third year, will need to replace All-GMAC selection Chuck Hooker who hit .329 with 13 homers and 39 RBIs. The Battlers do return a pair of honorable mention picks in infielder Tyler Amedure and pitcher Aidan Massad. Amedure hit .278 with five homers while Massad had a 1.80 ERA, good for tops among starters in the GMAC.
The Eagle Sports Network will have the audio stream available on cneagles.com/live starting at 2:15 p.m. with "The AEC Countdown to First Pitch".
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