JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – With four midweek home games left on the 2019 schedule, Carson-Newman welcomes Young Harris to the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex for the second time Wednesday at 3 p.m. looking to catch fire in the final month of the regular season.
"We have to teach better the game of baseball," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "We can't control certain things that players have or don't have at this point. We have to work on the fundamental and baseball aptitude of this game so that at least that part we can win against the opponent."
After opening the season 16-3, Carson-Newman (20-12) is 4-9 over its last 13 games in part due to the team's defense. The club has committed at least one miscue in 12 of those 13 contests after posting five errorless efforts in the first 19 outings of the year. As a whole, the Eagles held a .964 fielding percentage at the beginning of the year but has 24 errors and a .947 clip since.
Wednesday is the fourth all-time meeting with Young Harris (19-10) as the Eagles have come up on the short end of the stick in each of the first three including an 8-6 setback on the road on March 5.
The difference in the game turned out to be the fifth inning and the Mountain Lions scored eight times, the most runs allowed in any inning this year by the Eagles. Fourteen batters came to the plate in the stanza with six hits and a walk paving the way for the outburst before Hunter Long (Powell, Tenn.) punched out the final two batters to end the inning.
It did not prevent a late rally for Griffin's group as the team scored three times in the seventh and three more times in the ninth. The Eagles loaded the bases with two outs in the inning before Cal Smith (Kellar, Texas) grounded out to first base to end the rally.
Despite striking out twice as a team on the day, Ethan Goforth (Blacksburg, Va.) went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored and John Sharpe (Franklin, Tenn.) went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored carrying the load as the rest of the hitters combined to go 4-for-27.
Jake Tomelevage scored the win in relief firing three scoreless innings allowing one hit and one walk. Corley Reynolds finished the day 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run. Bailey Campbell and Brett Hawkins also registered a pair of hits.
Since opening the season 6-6, Young Harris is 13-3 since Feb. 26 coming off of a series win at Flagler to improve to 8-5 in Peach Belt action to sit in third on the table, two games behind Columbus State for first place. Seven of the 11 teams in the league hold above .500 marks in PBC play.
The pitching staff has been the area of improvement of late as the hurlers hold a 4.39 ERA in March after posting a 5.67 clip over the first 15 games of the year despite striking out three fewer batters per nine innings.
Two of the top three hitters in the Peach Belt wear the Purple and Silver in Zavier Lushington, .400, and Dahlton Cash, .391. Lushington has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games with eight multi-hit games while Cash has pokes in seven of his last eight driving in a run in six of eight.
All of the action will air on cneagles.com/live with audio and video streams available with the Eagle Sports Networks taking care of the sights and sounds.
- CN -