JEFFERSON CITY — For the second straight day Carson-Newman faced a large hole falling behind 7-0 after five frames before getting on the scoreboard falling by a 9-4 margin Wednesday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
“It feels like we are sleep-walking through the game,” Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. “We were just kind of there waiting for your playmaker to make a play versus I’m the playmaker not that guy. Sometimes you have leaders on the team. Why are they playmakers? Sometimes it’s because they are good players. Every guy is a playmaker. It seems like we are waiting for someone else to do the job. It’s almost like there are individuals going up there. We are not in that team aspect of stuff. Little things to be more of team offense. You want guys that hate to lose and it bothers them. There were some things that happened and it was like water off a duck’s back.”
In a non-conference game, Carson-Newman (7-2) drops a second straight in 2020 and a third consecutive affair to Tusculum (4-4). The Eagles went 1-for-7 with men in scoring position while the Pioneers mustered four hits in 18 tries with the same scenario.
Tusculum opened the scoring in the second inning when Luis Ezra hit a grounder back up the middle with two outs. Micah Genter mishandled the ball going toward the second base bag allowing a run to score.
With two outs in the third, Fuzzy Furr delivered an RBI single and Jaden Steagall added an RBI double. A two-run home run from Luis Ezra over the scoreboard in right field pushed the margin to 5-4 in the fourth.
In the fifth frame, the Pioneers put runners at the corners with two outs. A wild pitch brought in the game’s sixth run. Ezra hit a ground ball back up the middle that hit the leg of Nick Adkins and went into a hole on the left side of the infield to push the margin to 7-0 after five innings.
The Eagles got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth on a wild pitch and fielder’s choice ground out. A grounder to third brough home Gunnar Ricketts to pull the club with four at 7-3 going into the seventh.
Tusculum added a pair back in the eighth when Jaden Steagall hit a hard smash off of the glove of a diving Zach Boze down the left-field line to score two and stretch the differential to 9-3.
Michael Wroth blasted a two-out, solo home run just over the reach of the center field 380 feet away in center field for his second homer of the year to get the game to the final score to 9-4.
Of the seven hits on the day, Jordan Griffin was the lone player with a multi-hit effort going 2-for-4. Tyler Shaver worked out of bases loaded, no one out situation in the sixth firing 2 1/3 scoreless innings with three strikeouts.
Steagall led the Pioneers going 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBIs. Ezra drove in three and Daalen Adderley produced a pair of knocks. Tusculum pitching retired 12 of the final 14 batters they faced.
The Eagles turn their focus to a three-game weekend series against the defending national champions, Tampa, starting Friday at 2 p.m. from Mossy Creek.