JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman used a six-run seventh inning and five home runs to overcome a late five-run deficit to earn a series-opening 13-9 victory over Northwood Friday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
With the five long balls, the Eagles posted at least five roundtrippers in a game for the first time since hitting seven against Lenoir-Rhyne on March 20, 2010.
"Early on our at-bats weren't great," Carson-Newman baseball coach Tom Griffin said. "We didn't have what we consider quality at-bats where we were patient. Our approach probably wasn't what it needed to be. That's why they have to finish all of the outs. The middle part of our order did a tremendous job. Taking advantage of some balls that they could do damage to and they did. I'm really proud of them. It was like a football game. The first half was a struggle but the second half was really good."
Carson-Newman (5-4) scored the final nine runs in the game as Northwood (2-1) saw its bullpen allow 11 runs in just three innings of work.
The Eagles opened the scoring in the bottom of the third inning as senior Hunter Wood (College Grove, Tenn.) lined a double down the left-field line on a 3-2 pitch to begin the frame. Senior Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) moved Wood to third with a sacrifice bunt. Wood crossed the plate as senior Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) smacked a triple in the gap in left center to put the home group on top 1-0.
A pop out to second started the top of the fourth prior to a fielding error by senior Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.). C-N starter Will Gardner (Morristown, Tenn.) walked the next batter and induced a fly out for the second out of the inning. Grant Bridgewater blasted a 2-1 pitch over the left-field wall for a three-run homer. After a base hit to center, Briand Dombrowski hit the first pitch of his at-bat over the fence in left to make it 5-1 Northwood.
In the home half of the fourth, senior Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) launched a 2-1 offering over the center field wall for his second long ball of the year to pull the Eagles within three runs.
The Timberwolves added a pair in the top of the sixth inning to go ahead 7-2. The bases were loaded with two outs when Austin Gonser hit a bouncer to second base that Lynch did not handle cleanly letting the ball skip into left field as two players came around to score on the fielding error.
Carson-Newman put two runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth to pull the deficit to three at 7-4. Redshirt-sophomore Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) slashed a double off of the barrier in left-center field to start the inning. Junior Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) whacked a two-run home run towards the banks of Mossy Creek beyond the left-field wall.
Northwood added two more in the top of the seventh inning stretching the lead to 9-4. A fly out started the stanza. Ryan McCledlland walked and scored on a double from Richie O'Neil that rattled around in the left-field corner. Back-to-back singles allowed O'Neil to score on a knock to right field by David Vinsky.
The Eagles struck for six runs in the bottom of the seventh to capture a 10-9 edge. After inducing a pop-up, Brogan Fischer walked three straight batters. Campbell hit a bouncer to first that O'Neil decided to throw home and Dombrowski dropped the ball to allow Wood to score. Addington was picked off of second base for the second out. Snapp laced a single into left field to bring a run in. Kirby hammered a two-run double off of the right-field fence to pull the Eagles within a run. On a 1-0 pitch, senior Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) cranked a two-run dinger over the scoreboard in right to cap the explosive inning.
"The pitch was away," Jones said. "I knew he wasn't going to try to leave anything over the plate. They were staying away all game. I just told myself if they leave one up take a hack at it. Sure enough they did and I capitalized on it."
C-N added three more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning courtesy of a pair of long balls. Lynch opened the frame with a base hit into center field. Wood stepped to the dish and pummeled a 1-0 pitch over the right-field fence. After the next two batters were retired, Campbell drove a 1-0 offering over the right field boundary to make it a 13-9 game.
Five different Eagles had two hits in the game as Campbell and Wood each scored three times while Snapp and Kirby drove in a trio.
Junior Mo Foster (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) earned his first career win on the mound tossing scoreless baseball in 2/3 of an inning. Sophomore Ryan Victory (Brentwood, Tenn.) earned a save for the second time in his last three outings working a flawless final two frames.
Bridgewater went 2-for-4 with three RBIs while Vinsky tallied a 3-for-4 day at the office with a pair of runs scored.
The Eagles and Timberwolves do battle on Saturday with first pitch slated for noon from C-N's home field. The Eagle Sports Network will be on location providing all of the play-by-play action on cneagles.com/live with video and audio channels start at 11:50 a.m. with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to First Pitch".
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