MARION, N.C. – Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin secured his 400th coaching victory as the skipper of the Orange and Blue in a 12-2 drubbing of first-year South Atlantic Conference foe Queens Saturday at Big League Camp.
"We swung it well early and capitalized with runners in scoring position," Griffin said. "Greg Valentine was cruising for most of the game. I think at one point nine of the 10 outs were strikeouts. We continued to apply pressure and played add on at the end to give us a good lead. We got to the park early and it was great to play pretty much every guy we had on the bus in terms of position players."
Griffin becomes the fourth coach in the history of the SAC to hit that overall total at one school doing so in his 14th campaign at Mossy Creek. He needs 16 more for win No. 600 as a head coach overall.
Greg Valentine (Knoxville, Tenn.) spun a gem with the best outing of his career resetting a career high with 12 strikeouts and eight innings on the hill. He earned his eighth win of the year to move into a tie for sixth on the school's Division II record book. The righty allowed one earned run on five hits and two walks.
Ethan Goforth (Blacksburg, Va.) pushed his hitting streak to 14 games by going 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored out of the lead-off spot. He was one of 10 players with a hit and one of seven with a run batted in.
Carson-Newman (25-17, 7-11) produced a double-digit scoring effort in a SAC road game for the fourth time in ninth tries this year. The Eagles are now 14-2 all-time against first-year members of the conference in the first-ever meeting with Queens (12-26, 4-15).
Goforth reached to start the game on catcher's interference moving to third base on a double by Tyler Thompson (Gallatin, Tenn.). A ground out to shortstop put the Eagles on the scoreboard first, 1-0.
C-N put up five runs in the second stanza. Goforth opened the scoring with a two-run single into center field. Thompson chopped a run-producing knock through the left side of the infield and Sharpe put the finishing touches on the inning with a two-run poke to right-center field stretching the bulge to 6-0.
After being blanked for three frames, the Eagles tacked on three more in the sixth. Run-scoring doubles by Micah Genter (Jasper, Tenn.) and Michael Wroth (Chicopee, Mass.) sandwiched a throwing error that scored a run to swell the margin to nine.
For the 13th time in 2019, the Eagles reached double digits in runs scoring three more times in the seventh to push the lead to 12-0. Jordan Griffin (Ellerslie, Ga.) tripled to begin the inning and scored on a base hit to right field by Alan Silva (Sevierville, Tenn.). Charlie Brown (Sevierville, Tenn.) doubled down the left-field line and scored after two wild pitches.
Queens avoided the shutout flopping a run on the board in the bottom of the eighth inning thanks to an infield single in the hole at second base by Noah Jones that scored Alex Sexton making it a 12-1 outing. A double by Dominic Ford in the bottom of the ninth made it 12-2.
Sharpe led the team with three RBIs in the game. Thompson, Griffin, Silva and Genter all had a pair of hits with Silva scoring three times and Genter touching the plate twice.
The Royals were paced by two base hits apiece from Ford, Jones and Sexton with nine different players striking out at least once in the game.
Kollin Schrenk took the loss giving up six runs while recording four outs yielding six hits and a walk. The bullpen allowed four earned runs, six total, over the final 7 2/3 innings.
The clubs will finish the series on Monday at Big League Camp starting at 4:30 p.m. with the first of a twin-bill to close out the final road trip of the season for the Eagles.
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