February 1, 2013

Eagles drop season opener 10-6

AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Carson-Newman Eagles baseball team fell in their first game of the 2013 season, losing 10-6 to the Augusta State Jaguars at Lake Olmstead Stadium on Friday afternoon.

An eight-run bottom of the fifth inning for Augusta State powered the Jaguars to victory, with the main damage coming from left fielder Nate Crown on his 3-run double in the inning to give the Jaguars a 6-4 lead.

 Augusta State starter Kip Custer (1-0) earned the victory after allowing four runs on five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in five innings of work.

Carson-Newman starter Chris Armstrong (0-1) took the loss after allowing seven runs (three earned) on seven hits with three walks and four strikeouts and a wild pitch in his four and a third innings on the mound. Augusta State's Josh Barks earned the save by retiring the final two Eagles in the ninth.

After the Jaguars scored the game's first run in the bottom of the first, the Eagles responded with four runs in the top of the second to take a 4-1 lead. With the bases loaded and none out, Kevin Franchetti hit a two-RBI double to left field to give Carson-Newman a 2-1 lead. After an RBI groundout by Peter Rajkovich, the Eagles scored their last run of the inning on an RBI single by Zach Long to give Carson-Newman its 4-1 lead.

The Jaguars struck for eight runs in the bottom of the fifth, with Crown's 3-run double giving Augusta State a 6-4 lead. With reliever Josh Russell pitching for Carson-Newman, the Jaguars added an RBI double from Parker and an RBI groundout by Seth Foster to put the score at 9-4 after five innings.

The Eagles got a run back in the top of the seventh on an bases-loaded walk to Brandon Roberts that scored Long to cut the Jaguars' lead to 9-5. Augusta State picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth on a bases-loaded walk to put the score at 10-5 entering the top of the ninth.

Carson-Newman's comeback bid in the ninth saw the Eagles add a run when Roberts was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to bring home P.J. Sardinia. The Jaguars got the final out when Joe Tipton struck out to strand the bases loaded.

Long went 3-for-4 at the plate with an RBI, and the only other Eagle with a multi-hit performance was Roberts who went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs batted in. Eagle reliever Ryan Fillers pitched an inning and two-thirds without allowing run and only surrendering a pair of hits.

The teams will conclude the series with a Saturday doubleheader with the first game beginning at noon at Lake Olmstead Stadium.