C-N baseball wins fifth straight
JEFFERSON CITY — Another strong pitching performance mixed with timely hitting helped the Carson-Newman Eagles defeat the Lee Flames 3-2 Tuesday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
Six pitchers combined to slow a Flames’ lineup that was averaging seven runs per contest coming into today’s contest. Lee (6-1) put a runner in scoring position in six innings and had a runner at third base twice in the final five innings with less than two outs.
“I’m very happy to see guys get in there who maybe didn’t do well the last time and have some success,” head coach Tom Griffin said of the pitching. “It was a great team effort. Everyone threw exceptionally well out of the bullpen because that is probably one of the better hitting teams that we are going to face.”
Carson-Newman (7-1) started the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when junior center fielder Evan Kirkpatrick drew a leadoff walk to extend his consecutive on-base streak to 15 games. After moving to second base on a ground out, sophomore outfielder Joe Tipton lined a ball off the fence in right field to put the home team on top 1-0.
The Flames took the lead in the third inning. Josh Tate singled to center to start the stanza. After Eagles’ starter Clayton Eames retired the next two batters he hit Josh Silver. With a 3-1 count, the top hitter for Lee, Derrick Pitts, roped a ball into the gap in left center to make it a 2-1 lead for the visitors.
The Eagles quickly responded in the bottom half of the frame when senior second basemen Peter Rajkovich singled with two outs. Rajkovich advanced to third base on an errant pick-off attempt by Kyle Briner. Tipton walked to bring up junior left fielder Bo Ausmus. Ausmus laced a single to left field on a 1-0 pitch to tie the game at two.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, junior first basemen Evan Jurjevic, junior shortstop Bryan Everhart and freshman designated hitter Greg Jones singled to load the bases. Sophomore catcher Gooch Greer hit a sharp ground ball on a 2-2 count to third basemen Jordan Stewart who fielded the ball and took the out at first base allowing the Jurjevic to score and make it a 3-2 lead for Carson-Newman.
Junior right-hander Carson Bryant retired the first two batters of the ninth inning before allowing a single to Silver and walking Pitts. Zachary Hawkins hit a 3-2 pitch on one hop to Everhart who had the ball skip off of his chest toward third base. Silver made the turn around third and hesitated before trying to score. Everhart barehanded the baseball and threw a strike to Greer who tagged Silver and end the ball game.
Senior right-hander Brandon Timmerman earned the victory tossing 1.1 flawless innings while Bryant earned the save in his Carson-Newman debut.
Kirkpatrick extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the seventh inning. With his single in the third inning, Rajkovich has now reached base safely in 12 straight contests. Everhart went 2-for-3 and now has hits in 14 of his last 16 games.
With the win, Carson-Newman has now won five straight games for the first time since winning five in a row from March 19, 2011 to March 27, 2011.
-From Contributed Reports