JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman's pitching staff stranded 10 runners as the Eagles picked up the rubber game of a three-game series Sunday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex by a 5-3 margin.
"They handled it well," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said of the pitching staff. "It's stressful for a pitcher but it's great experience. They kept us in the ball game as well as the defense. The defense played very well. That's a good win because that's a good ball club. They are solid 1-9 and have a lot of arms. I felt that was a good test for us in seeing what kind of club we are."
Carson-Newman (6-5) wins the final series before South Atlantic Conference action begins on Friday while Northwood (3-2) falls for the fifth time in seven meetings with the Eagles.
C-N starter Kyle Cagle (Fairview, N.C.) walked three batters in the top of the first inning including a pair with two outs. On ball four to Grant Bridgewater, a wild pitch allowed Connor Foley to sprint to the plate to give Northwood a 1-0 edge.
Redshirt-sophomore Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) had the first hit of the game for the Eagles, a double in the bottom of the first. The second hit of the day was a looping single into left field by Campbell to start the last of the fourth. The next pitch came to junior Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) that the right fielder crushed over the left-field wall for his fourth long ball of the season and give Carson-Newman its first lead at 2-1.
Northwood tied the score at two in the top of the sixth inning. David Vinsky laced a ball off of the back of Mo Foster (Murfreesboro, Tenn.) for a one-out infield single. Two batters later, Tanner McCarn lined a single into center field to bring home Vinsky.
Senior Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) drew a walk to begin the bottom of the sixth inning. After a strikeout and a fly out to right field, senior Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) slapped a single to right field to put two on base. Senior Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) hit a high fly ball into straightaway center field. Travis Janes, who entered as a defensive substitute in the inning, lost the ball in the sun as the ball bounced over his head to score Addington and Kirby to push the score to 4-2 Carson-Newman.
Javier Martinez and Grant Bridgewater started the top of the eighth inning with base hits to left field. Vinsky slashed a double off of the wall in left-center field to plate a run and pull the Timberwolves within one at 4-3. Freshman Jordan Davis (Maryville, Tenn.) induced a ground ball back to the mound before being replaced by senior Raunel Perez (Soddy Daisy, Tenn.). The right-hander struck out McCarn and produced a squibbing ground out to Kirby at first to halt the rally and maintain a one-run lead.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Kirby blasted a 1-2 pitch from Matt Stojkov to the banks of Mossy Creek with a no-doubt solo home run, his third of 2017, to get the run back extending the advantage to two at 5-3.
Perez earned his first save of the year and his fourth in his career tossing 1 2/3 scoreless frames with three strikeouts while sophomore Greg Valentine (Knoxville, Tenn.) notched his second win of the year punching out the only batter that he faced.
"I just wanted to take it one pitch at a time," Perez said. "I told Griff coming out for that inning that I'm just having fun. I think if you think ahead of what other pitches you want to throw that's where you get in trouble and try to do too much."
Campbell finished the day with his fourth two-hit outing of the year going 2-for-4 as Kirby also went 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored.
Ian Dimitrie took the loss for Northwood firing six innings while allowing four earned runs on five hits and one walk striking out seven.
The Eagles play one final non-conference game before hopping into South Atlantic Conference action as C-N hosts Tusculum Tuesday afternoon for a 2 p.m. opening toss. The Eagle Sports Network goes on the air at 1:50 with "The Appalachian Electric Cooperative Countdown to First Pitch" on cneagles.com/live with video and audio streams.
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