JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Logan Cogburn produced his longest outing of his career and Ethan Goforth's two-run homer in the sixth proved to be the difference in a 4-1 Carson-Newman, ranked 25th, victory over Belmont Abbey Tuesday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
"The guys responded well," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "It was long day when you look at Sunday, Monday and coming today when you have classes. As a coach, you want these guys to be energized but realistically you have to understand they have other life going on. This isn't their job. They had to find the energy from the bench and the leaders."
Cogburn went 6 1/3 innings winning for a third-straight appearance yielding one run on three hits and two walks while striking out four batters on 93 pitches.
Goforth hit his fourth home run in five games bringing his season total to eight on the year finishing the day 3-for-5 with three runs scored for his team-leading 13th multi-hit game of the season.
"I am just trying to think about timing," Goforth said. "I don't want to be too out in front and be known as a hitter that hits everything to the third baseman or over his head. I'm trying to think right-center field and be on time for the fastball and make adjustments to the breaking ball."
The win snaps a three-game skid for Carson-Newman (18-7) while Belmont Abbey (9-15) has lost 10 of its last 12 games and each of the last five. The Eagles have won three consecutive over the Crusaders and 14 of the last 20.
Goforth ripped a single to center field and stole second base to start the bottom of the fifth. After two fly outs and a hit batter, Mike Wroth (Chicopee, Mass.) stepped to the plate with two outs. The junior hit a 1-2 pitch into center field to bring in Goforth and give the Eagles a 1-0 edge.
After two strikeouts started the bottom of the sixth, Micah Genter (Jasper, Tenn.) ripped a single back up the middle on a 1-2 pitch. Two pitches later on a 1-0 offering, Goforth pounded his fourth home run in five games over the wall in straightaway center field, 380 feet away, to stretch the lead to 3-0.
Cogburn had not allowed a run in 16 1/3 innings over his last four outings having allowed one hit when Ben Sneider stepped to the plate with one out in the seventh. The right-handed hitter cranked his third homer of the season out of the park to right-center field.
In each of the seventh and eighth innings, the Crusaders had the tying run at second base with two outs but a pop out to first ended the seventh and a strikeout concluded the eighth.
With one out in the eighth, Goforth hit a high hopper to the left side of the infield legging out a single without a throw. Time was never called and alertly, the catcher hustled to second base sliding in before the tag.
Hunter Long (Powell, Tenn.) pinned down the save, his first of the year, firing a scoreless eighth and ninth innings with a career-high four strikeouts for his seventh scoreless outing of the year.
NO DIGGITY, NO DOUBT@11hunterlong gets a punchout to leave the tying run in scoring position.— Carson-Newman Athletics (@CNathletics) March 12, 2019
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Tyler Thompson (Gallatin, Tenn.) reached base safely in all five his plate appearances finishing a homer shy of the cycle with a walk and a hit batter.
As a team, the Eagles went 8-for-17 with two outs scoring all of four of their runs in those situations on the day.
"That's important," Griffin said. "That's the key to baseball is the two-out, two-strike hits because there is a little more pressure on both people. There is pressure on the pitcher to make the pitch and the hitters have to find a way to get those to happen. It felt very comfortable in here. The players were going to make plays to see what happens.
"We talked about each guy when they get in the box that they are hero. They are going to be the guy that wins the ball game. You have to have that mindset when you step in the box that this is going to be my game to win this thing."
Belmont Abbey went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position combining for five total knocks on the day and seven in two games this year against the Eagles.
Kale Rhame was the only Crusader to reach base safely doubling in the third and drawing a walk in the seventh.
Sam High was a tough-luck loser going five innings allowing just one run on four hits and three walks with six strikeouts to fall to 1-3 on the season.
The Eagles start a four-game road trip with a three-game series at Catawba currently slated to start Friday evening at 6 p.m. from Newman Park in Salisbury, N.C.
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