JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Seven pitchers combined to strikeout a season-high 16 batters as 25th-ranked Carson-Newman ran its home winning streak to five games by controlling Bluefield State 11-2 Wednesday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
The game was concluded by Matt Bradley (Talbott, Tenn.) throwing an immaculate inning, three strikeouts on nine pitches. For reference there have been 87 such frames in the history of Major League Baseball. He was one pitch shy of that feat on Feb. 24 against Davis & Elkins.
"This time versus last time when I gave up the home run, I threw all three of my pitches more," Bradley said. "I tried to blow it past guys the first time. Today with Chris [Caldwell], he called the right pitches and luckily I was able to locate them. It was the mix."
Wednesday was the ninth instance this season in which Carson-Newman (17-4) recorded more runs than hits finishing the game with seven knocks compared to Bluefield State (3-5) and its five knocks.
"You have guys that have multiple at-bats under their belt," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "I remember asking Steve Smith at Baylor one time. They had an outstanding strikeout-to-walk ratio. I asked him what's the key? He said when we have juniors and seniors in the lineup, we tend to walk a lot and not strikeout a lot. I think the experience and the age has a lot to do with it."
The Eagles improve to 9-0 all-time against the Big Blues having scored in double figures in seven games in-a-row outscoring the team 109-29.
The Eagles scored three times in the bottom of the first one just one hit courtesy of four walks and a hit batter. Kilian Daughtry (Simpsonville, S.C.) laced a one-out double to the wall in left field and Cal Smith (Kellar, Texas) was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
C-N scored three more runs in the second stanza with Ethan Goforth (Blacksburg, Va.) leading off the inning with his fifth home run of the season clearing the fence in left field on a 1-0 offering. A balk and an RBI ground out swelled the margin to 6-0.
Goforth provided additional run support with an RBI double to left field in the third inning with Tyler Thompson (Gallatin, Tenn.) adding a sacrifice fly. A throwing error in the fifth brought another run home as the lead expanded to 9-0.
In the bottom of the sixth, a fielding error and a fielder's choice ground out stretched the bulge to 11-0.
The Big Blues avoided the shutout by scoring a pair in the top of the seventh inning. J.R. McRee drew a walk to start the inning and scored two batters later on a double by Taylor Tibbs down the left-field line. Tibbs scored when Samuel Bosley lined a single into right field to cut the deficit to 11-2.
Overall on the day, 10 different Eagles reached base safely with Goforth going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored at the top of the lineup. John Sharpe (Franklin, Tenn.) scored twice and Daughtry led the team with a pair of RBIs.
Logan Cogburn (Friendsville, Tenn.) tallied the win on the mound improving to 2-0 on the season recording a career-high seven strikeouts over four scoreless innings allowing two hits and one walk. The pitching staff retired the final seven batters of the game.
Tibbs led the visitors by reaching base safely all three times with two doubles and a walk. The rest of the team went 3-for-39 at the plate with the 16 punch outs.
On the mound, each of the first four pitchers used by Geoff Hunter allowed at least one run before McKinley Webb and Alex Brugos hurled scoreless eighth and ninth innings.
Griffin's group will play its first SAC series at home this season with Lincoln Memorial coming to down starting Saturday afternoon at noon for the first of a three-game series.
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