JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – In the final weekend series before conference action ignites, 22nd-ranked Carson-Newman hosts Davis & Elkins for a four-game series at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex. Two seven-inning affairs are slated for Saturday starting at 1 p.m. with a nine- and a seven-inning effort on Sunday at noon.
"Most importantly right now we have some injuries," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "John Sharpe is waiting to get back from an oblique. Mark Treadway is going to be back this weekend. Tyler Thompson is dealing with an oblique. We have some injuries of key guys especially on the offensive side that we need to get healthy. This extra time will be really beneficial for them.
"As far as our lineup and stuff goes, we are close on understanding who has to do what. Starting pitching – we have to talk about some things there. Who is going to be our top three? Reliever wise, we have some guys that we would like to get in there and this weekend will give us the opportunity."
Carson-Newman (11-3) is in the midst of one of its best months during Griffin's tenure as the 11 wins so far are the most since winning 12 in April 2017. The last time the Eagles won more than a dozen in a single month came during March 2010 when the club went 17-2 winning its final 11 in-a-row.
The Eagles have seen the starting rotation provide a quality beginning to the 2019 campaign as the unit has a 3.78 earned run average tallying an 8-2 record. The collection of hurlers have 72 punch outs and 25 walks through 66 2/3 innings pitched on the season.
Griffin's crew has controlled the running game and miscues to date. The Eagles have 33 stolen bases compared to five by its opponents who have been thrown out seven times. Foes have committed 28 errors while walking 79 batters and hitting 26 over 107 innings. C-N has seven while pitches and zero balks while its opposition has 31 and six respectively.
The two clubs have played twice prior to this weekend's series with the Eagles coming out ahead 13-4 on Feb. 27, 2005 and 6-5 on Feb. 12, 2012. In the 2005 meeting, C-N used five different pitchers including freshman Steve Cishek, who threw a scoreless sixth inning. Nick Achberger went 2-for-5 with three RBIs and T.J. Graves went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and three runs scored.
In 2012, the difference was a balk and wild pitch to score Evan Jurjevic in the bottom of the seventh inning breaking a 5-5 tie. Brandon Timmerman earned the win tossing two flawless frames with three punch outs. Ryan Fillers picked up the save on the mound. Kyle Koeneman went 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
The Eagles have played six teams from Great Midwest Conference in their history posting a 18-4 record. C-N has swept Alderson Broaddus in a four-game two weeks ago and has Trevecca on the docket in 2019 on April 16.
Davis & Elkins (0-4) hails from Elkins, Virginia, a town with a population of just over 7,000 people with the school having an enrollment of 847. Press Maravich, the father of the all-time leading Division I scorer Pete played from 1938-41 and began his coaching career with the Senators from 1947-49.
In 2018, the program tied with Cedarville for last place in the GMAC finishing with an 11-34 overall winning four of 25 conference contests. In the preseason poll, the team is picked to finished last out of 13 teams with just 19 points received. The Senators have had four straight losing seasons winning no more than 13 games since finishing .500 at 25-25 in 2014.
To open the 2019 season, Davis & Elkins was outscored 42-4 in a four-game series at Winston-Salem State. As a team, the hitters notched a .157 batting average with just two doubles as Shawn Pass with 3-for-6 and Chase DeGrood went 4-for-10.
The pitching staff walked 29 and yielded 35 hits over 24 innings on the mound. Of the six pitchers to toss multiple innings, all allowed at least two runs with 11 of 12 giving up at least one run. Two hurlers threw a team-high 3 1/3 innings as Marcos Feria gave up eight earned and Brent McMillion surrendered three.
All of the games this weekend will be streamed on cneagles.com/live with audio and video streams available courtesy of the Eagle Sports Network.
- CN -