JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – The Carson-Newman Eagles baseball team (12-7, 8-1 South Atlantic Conference) will return to conference play with a weekend series on the road against the Mars Hill Lions (4-13, 2-5 South Atlantic Conference) at Henderson Field with a doubleheader on Saturday and a Sunday finale.
Saturday's doubleheader at Henderson Field will begin at noon, while Sunday's contest will be played at 3 p.m.
The Eagles are off to the best start of any team in the South Atlantic Conference with an 8-1 record in conference play. Carson-Newman began its conference slate with a sweep of Tusculum before taking two of three at Brevard and last weekend the Eagles swept Lenoir-Rhyne.
In the sweep against Lenoir-Rhyne, Carson-Newman swept a Sunday doubleheader to improve to 8-1 in conference play. Eagles catcher Kevin Franchetti was the catalyst for the sweep, collecting six RBI in the two games along with a pair of homers and the game-winning RBI double in the third and final game of the series.
For his efforts, Franchetti earned SAC Player of the Week honors, the second Eagle to earn a SAC weekly award this baseball season.
The Eagles will feature their normal starting rotation against Mars Hill. Senior right-hander Chris Armstrong (3-2, 2.12 ERA) will start in the first game of the Saturday doubleheader. Senior right-hander Alex Britt (3-1, 2.70 ERA) will start in the second game of the Saturday doubleheader. Starting Sunday's game will be sophomore right-hander Quinton Yocom (2-1, 2.81 ERA).
Carson-Newman is led in hitting by second baseman Bo Ausmus, who leads the Eagles with a .364 average and also has the team lead in RBI with 14 and is tied for the team lead in homers with three.
Right fielder Evan Kirkpatrick is also hitting above .360 as he sports a .362 average in 47 at-bats this season.
The Lions are 2-5 in conference play and enter the weekend in eighth place in the SAC standings. Mars Hill was picked to finish eighth in the preseason SAC coaches poll. Last weekend the Lions lost two of three games in their series at Brevard.