BELMONT, N.C. – Carson-Newman's pitching staff yielded a pair of hits on the day and no runs until two outs in the bottom of the ninth to win a fourth-straight game with a 7-3 victory over Belmont Abbey at Abbey Yard Wednesday afternoon.
The combination of Tyler Shaver (Dandridge, Tenn.), Cameron Bloebaum (Kinsey, Ala.), Nick Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.), Ryan Victory (Brentwood, Tenn.) and Matt Bradley (Talbott, Tenn.) combined to punch out 12 batters while retiring the side in order five times.
"The effort was tremendous," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "The ability to use both sides of the plate especially to elevate the baseball the way they did. When pitchers have success we always talk about what the catcher did to help that. When you have a veteran like Ethan Goforth working with a freshman who has some stuff and be able to corral and pitch to his strength and to a hitter's weakness, Shaver did that from the beginning."
Carson-Newman (14-3) snaps a two-game losing streak on the road in the series winning at Belmont Abbey (8-8) for the first time since April 7, 2015. The Eagles close out the month of February with four consecutive wins.
"That was about as well played of a game as we can play," Griffin said. "We had great energy levels from the get-go. Our communication was good. If we had a bad at-bat we did a better job the next time with our approach. We executed hit and runs. We were aggressive on the base paths. That was as complete of a game as we can do. This is something we can look back on and say that is what you are capable of doing if we continue to do the things we talk about in our training."
After stranding four men on base through the first three innings, the Eagles broke through for a pair in the top of the fourth. Jordan Griffin (Ellersie, Ga.) singled to open the inning and was on the move when Alan Silva (Gatlinburg, Tenn.) lined a ball inside of the third-base bag into the corner to score the sophomore. Following a punch out, Micah Genter (Jasper, Tenn.) flopped a two-out single into center field to score Silva.
Shaver had not allowed a hit until Ben Gobbel doubled down the left-field line with two outs in the top of the fifth. After a walk, the Eagles went to the bullpen asking Bloebaum to get the final out. He obliged striking out Jakob Rolly, the three-hole batter.
The first batter was retired in the top of the eighth inning before the Eagles' bats started to click. With runners at second and third, Kilian Daughtry (Simpsonville, S.C.) pinch hit and drove a ball down the left-field line to bring in the pair. He scored on a base hit through the left side of the infield by Charlie Brown (Sevierville, Tenn.). Ethan Goforth (Blacksburg, Va.) laced a base hit into left field to add two more to the tally and expand the bulge to 7-0.
Carson-Newman's bullpen had retired 12 in-a-row when a pair two-out walks in the bottom of the ninth brought Kale Rhame to the plate. The left-handed hitter drove a ball to deep right to clear the fence to make it a 7-3 contest.
Goforth and Griffin each racked up two-hit days as eight different players tallied a poke on the day against eight different hurlers used by the Crusaders.
None of the eight hurlers threw more than 2 2/3 innings on the bump with four notching shutout outings. Jason White was the only hitter to reach base multiple times drawing walks in the second and fourth.
The Eagles open South Atlantic Conference play this weekend at Mars Hill with a three-game series starting Friday afternoon at 2 p.m.
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