ANDERSON, S.C. – Micah Genter's insurance two-run single in the ninth proved to be the decider as a runner leaving early in the bottom of the ninth inning stymied a late Anderson rally helping Carson-Newman hold off a surging Trojans side in a 9-8 Friday night win at Memorial Stadium of the first outing in the South Atlantic Conference series.
"One thing I think you have to guard against when you have tough stretches is here we go again," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "As coaches we have to be careful about it and players have to be careful about it. It's a new day and they did a tremendous job today. The bench was great energy, very positive. There was big moments but it was really positive that we were going to get out of this. Fortunately we caught a couple breaks."
Greg Valentine (Knoxville, Tenn.) tied the program record for pitching appearances in a career with his 88th. The senior earned his seventh win of the season tossing 6 2/3 innings allowing five runs, three earned on eight hits and one walk with three punch outs.
Carson-Newman (21-13, 4-8) wins its fifth straight game over Anderson (11-21, 2-11) and has won 11 of the last 14 meetings with the Trojans.
The first three men reached in the top of the first inning for the Eagles to take a 1-0 lead. A throwing error by Anderson starting pitcher Will Gee brought in Ethan Goforth (Blacksburg, Va.) from second base but a ground out and a line drive double play prevented more damage.
Dalton Shaw started the bottom of the first reaching on a throwing error. He was standing at second base with two outs when Brandon Odachowski pulled a 0-2 offering through the hole on the left side of the infield to bring in the tying run.
C-N's offense burst open for four runs in the top of the third inning. Malik Kyle (Jefferson City, Tenn.) got the ball rolling with a two-run double to the gap in left-center field. Michael Wroth (Chicopee, Mass.) singled to left field and Jordan Griffin (Ellerslie, Ga.) grounded out to second to bring in the other two.
A hit batter and an error put the first two men on base for the Trojans in the third. After a fly out to center, Chandler Castleberry lined a base hit to left field to pull the home club within three at 5-2.
With one out in the top of the fifth, Griffin fell behind 0-2 before working it even at 2-2. On the sixth pitch of the at-bat, he crushed a ball off of the top of the scoreboard in left field to get the lead back to four at 6-2.
A hit batter and a base hit put the first two men on in the Anderson half of the seventh. Carpenter launched a 0-2 pitch off of the base of the wall near the 400 sign in right-center field for a two-run triple. He scored on a ground out to shortstop to make it a one-run game at 6-5.
Goforth came to the plate with one out in the top of the eighth and hit a fly ball down the line in right field. A trio of defenders converged with none making the play. Goforth hustled towards second base as Castleberry scooped the ball up and chucked it over second base towards the wall in foul ground third-base side to allow the junior to cross the plate.
After Carpenter added an RBI single to right field in the bottom of the eighth, two base hits and a walk loaded the bases for the Eagles in the top of the ninth. Micah Genter (Jasper, Tenn.) pulled a 2-1 pitch just past a diving shortstop into left field to plate a pair and get the lead to 9-6.
"Griff was talking to me early," Genter said. "It was a pitcher that just came into the game and struggling a little bit in warm ups. I was seeing pitches to see what he could do. After I saw the first couple pitches, I had the confidence to swing away and I found one."
It was an ominous start to the bottom of the ninth with an error, a base hit and a walk loading the bases. After a hit batter brought in a run, Tyler Berry hit a fly ball to center field. Thompson caught it and threw to second base where Genter stepped on second after a boisterous yell from Brandon Roberts in the dugout. The ruling was that the runner left early to leave the tying run at first base. Dalton Shaw singled moving the runner to third before Lindsey grounded to first to end the game.
Matt Bradley (Talbott, Tenn.) earned his eighth save of the year firing the final 2 1/3 innings giving up three runs, two earned on three hits and a walk with a strikeout.
Goforth produced his second four-hit day of the season going 4-for-5 with three runs scored from the lead-off spot. Kilian Daughtry (Simpsonville, S.C.) added three knocks with Griffin producing a 2-for-4 line with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Carpenter paced the Trojans offense with four hits and three RBIs of the teams 11 knocks on the night. Odachowski drove in two runs.
The two programs wrap up the series Saturday afternoon with a twin-bill starting at 1 p.m. from Memorial Stadium. The Eagle Sports Network has the call of both outings available on cneagles.com/live with an audio feed available.
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