FOREST CITY, N.C. — Second team All-South Atlantic Conference starting pitcher Chris Armstrong pitched his second complete game of the season to propel Carson-Newman to an opening round 5-1 win over No. 23 and top-seeded Catawba in the 2013 Food Lion SAC Baseball Tournament.
The Eagles (20-24) move on to take on the loser of Newberry today at 3:45 p.m. The win marked Carson-Newman’s seventh against nationally ranked competition this year.
The first four innings went scoreless, with Armstrong and Catawba’s SAC Pitcher of the Year Nick Lomascolo limiting the offenses to just four hits while piling up a combined 12 strikeouts.
Carson-Newman got on the board in the fifth. After a pair of strikeouts started the frame, Bryan Everhart ripped a two-out single through the left side. Zach Long followed with a single down the right field line, while a walk would load the bases. Roberts lined a two-run single to right to give the Eagles the lead.
Catawba (34-15) cut the lead in half in the bottom of the sixth. A leadoff error put Catawba’s Keaton Hawks on second base, while a bunt single from Houston moved him to third.
The Eagles had the answer in the top of the seventh when Kevin Franchetti led off the frame with his eighth homer of the year, a solo shot over the 25-foot wall in left to push the lead back to two.
Carson-Newman added two more runs in the eighth. Roberts started the frame with a single, then went to third on a two-out double from Evan Jurjevic. A twoout, two-run single up the middle from Fox gave the Eagles a 5-1 advantage.
That would be plenty for Armstrong, who improves to 7-5 on the year. He allowed nine hits on the day, eight of which were singles.