JEFFERSON CITY — After starting the year 7-1, the Carson-Newman Eagles play host to the Young Harris Mountain Lions trying to keep their record from hitting the .500 mark for the first time this season. The Eagles and Mountain Lions will play Tuesday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
“We’re going to handle it the right way,” C-N coach Tom Griffin said of the recent streak. “Our actions and reactions to things are not going to change because of success or failures.”
The Eagles (12-11) dropped two out of three games for the third straight South Atlantic Conference series against Mars Hill over the weekend. In a doubleheader on Saturday, Carson-Newman could only muster two runs and struck out 19 times despite solid pitching. The pitching staff surrendered 11 hits and three walks to go along with 17 punch outs on Saturday.
During a 3-7 stretch, Carson-Newman is hitting .248 at the plate seeing its team average drop from .289 to .269 in that span. The biggest difference for the Eagles has been with runners in scoring position. In the last ten games, hitters are just .237 with a runner at second or third base after beginning the season with a .360 average.
After a 5-0 start to the year at the friendly confines, the Eagles are just 2-5 since at home. Carson-Newman is averaging just four runs per contest over that time period and has been held to less than two runs or fewer on three occasions.
The Mountain Lions (9-13) were swept over the weekend by UNC Pembroke at home getting outscored 22-6 in the series. An anomaly for Young Harris this year has been its success away Zell B. Miller Field. The Mountain Lions are 6-5 away from home compared to a 3-8 record at their place.
Zach Wall is hitting .368 with four home runs and nine RBI on the year. Five different players have driven in double-digit runs on the year as Young Harris is averaging just shy of six runs per game this season. As a club, the Mountain Lions have a .262 batting average with 18 home runs which ranks in the top five nationally.
The Young Harris pitching staff has accumulated a 4.91 earned run average on the season as they have seen opponents hit .285 against them on the year.
Tuesday marks the second meeting between the two programs. The Mountain Lions took home a 9-5 victory in 2013 as Young Harris scored the game’s first nine runs, including six runs in the sixth inning. The Eagles answered with four runs in the top of the seventh inning including a two-run home run by Shade Jett.
-From Contributed Reports