JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman went 3-for-16 with runners in scoring position and stranded a dozen men on base in an 8-4 loss at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex Tuesday as Shorter scored in seven of the nine innings.
"Early on we had some hard contacts that you are looking for hit right at guys," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "I think in the first couple innings a lot of the balls we hit were right at someone. You have to put balls in play and that gives you a chance. There were a couple strikeouts in there that you would like to see the ball put in play."
The Hawks scored half of their runs with two outs going 7-for-16 with two men down on the day. Each team racked up 13 knocks on the day but Shorter (18-15) won for the third time in nine meetings with Carson-Newman (22-15).
Michael Avendano started the top of the second inning with a double off of the fence in left field. A pair of grounders to second base brought him home for the game's first run.
Dalton Long (Powell, Tenn.) retired the first two batters of the third inning on seven pitches before Bailey Gerstner lined a single into left field. Nate Butterworth hit the sixth pitch of the next at-bat, a 1-2 pitch, off the top of the 18-foot high wall in left field to bring in Gerstner and lengthen the lead to 2-0.
With one out, two singles through the left side of the infield and a walk loaded the bases. Luis Acevedo hit a fly ball to the warning track in right field to score Victor Perez pushing the lead to 3-0.
After the first two batters were retired to open the top of the fifth, Samyr Santos turned on a 2-1 pitch blasting it well over the fence in left field to extend the margin to 4-0.
In the top of the sixth inning, the Hawks loaded the bases but settled for just one run in the frame on a sacrifice fly to right field by Gertsner putting the Eagles in a 5-0 hole.
A lead-off infield single by Tyler Thompson (Gallatin, Tenn.) set the stage for a rally in the bottom of the sixth inning for the Eagles. On a 2-0 delivery, Michael Wroth (Chicopee, Mass.) launched a ball to straightaway center field clearing the wall for his first homer in a month. Six pitches later on a full count, Jordan Griffin (Ellerslie, Ga.) blasted his seventh roundtripper of the season to cut the deficit to two at 5-3.
Two-out hitting proved to be the difference in the seventh again. Victor Perez singled to right field and Kaleeq Brannigan was hit by a 1-0 offering. Back-to-back run-producing knocks by Matt Christian and Acevedo made it a four-run game at 7-3.
The teams traded runs in the eighth with Shorter scoring on a sacrifice fly and C-N getting a man to cross the plate on a wild pitch.
Thompson finished with a 3-for-4 day at the office with Ethan Goforth (Blacksburg, Va.) going 2-for-4. Mark Treadway (Friendsville, Tenn.) and Alan Silva (Sevierville, Tenn.) each added a pair of hits.
Griffin's bullpen allowed seven earned runs with Nick Adkins (Knoxville, Tenn.) fired a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts.
Avendano had three hits with Gerstner, Perez and Acevedo each tallying a pair of pokes at the plate. Santos and Acevedo each had a pair of RBIs.
The Eagles continue a five-game homestand this weekend against ninth-ranked Newberry. Friday is the first game of the three-game South Atlantic Conference series starting at 3 p.m.
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