JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Carson-Newman earned a sweep over Wingate for the first time since 2005 winning the first game 13-11 cranking out 18 hits while Will Gardner tossed a complete game in a 3-1 series finale Saturday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
"This was a real special weekend for us," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "We feel like our backs were against the wall. We needed to finish strong and have an opportunity to get into the conference tournament. Our guys have responded exceptionally well and have done it the right way. Proud is a great word for it."
Wingate (17-27, 8-13) had won five straight series over Carson-Newman (23-20, 10-11) entering the weekend as the Eagles snap that string and earn the sweep for the first time since taking three games in 2005 in Mossy Creek.
The Eagles hit .402 collectively in the series with 39 hits including 12 extra-base hits over the weekend. The Bulldogs outhit the home club 42-39 but compiled an ERA of 11.86.
Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) finished with six hits in nine at-bats in the series with a long ball a pair of RBIs. Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) went 7-for-13 over the weekend with three runs. Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) and Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) each had two home runs as Kirby had five RBIs and Jones had eight.
GAME ONE: CARSON-NEWMAN 13, Wingate 11
Ty Andrus jumped on the second pitch of the game launching a 1-0 offering over the fence in left field for his first home run of the season. Zach Little singled into center field and scored when Colby Barnette hit his second home run in as many days on a 1-2 delivery to put the Bulldogs ahead 3-0 before the Eagles came to the plate.
The first pitch Wingate starter Hunter Morgan tossed in the bottom of the second inning was cranked over the wall in left field by Kirby for his seventh blast of the year to get the home group on the scoreboard. Brett Langhorne (Mechiancsville, Va.) reached on a bunt single and Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) picked up a knock to right field to put men at the corners. Trever Lee (Garner, N.C.) hit a sacrifice fly to left and a ground out to first by Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) tied the game at three.
With one on and two outs in the top of the third, Andrew Llewellyn crushed his sixth home run of the year over the left field wall to put Wingate on top 5-3.
Snapp started the bottom half of the third with a bouncer through the left side of the infield for a single. Jones jumped on a 1-1 pitch launching a roundtripper down the right-field line over the wall for a game-tying two-run long ball.
Carson-Newman took the lead in the bottom of the fourth inning scoring twice to go ahead 7-5. Two singles and a hit batter loaded the bases with one out. Snapp smacked an RBI single to left field to score Lee and a ground out to first by Jones plated Addington to untie the outing.
The Bulldogs regained the advantage in the top of the fifth as Joseph Mason hammered a two-run home run to left field to tie the game. The next batter, Reece Daniel hit his second long ball of the year leaving the park to left field to put Wingate ahead 8-7.
An RBI double by Jimmy Rice (Middlesex, N.J.) to the wall in left field scored Campbell to tie the score at eight after five frames.
The Bulldogs picked up a run in the sixth on a wild pitch and another in the seventh in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Ty Andrus gave the visiting club a 10-8 edge.
Griffin's group tied the game in the bottom of the seventh on a wild pitch and an RBI ground out to second base from Graham Warren (Franklin, Tenn.).
In the bottom of the eighth, the Eagles sent eight men to the plate and scored three times to go ahead by three at 13-10. Jones laced an RBI double to left-center field after it missed the glove of the shortstop Daniel. A bases loaded hit batter and a ground out to third provided insurance.
A squeeze bunt by Little in the top of the ninth made it a two-run game before Barnette grounded out to third representing the tying run to end the game.
Seven players for Carson-Newman had at least two hits as Jones drove in four runs for the second straight day going 2-for-5 with a pair of runs scored. Snapp and Campbell notched a three-hit game for the second straight outing.
Ryan Eberle (Cookeville, Tenn.) earned the win for the second straight game going to 4-6 on the season tossing two innings allowing one hit and three walks with an unearned run and a strikeout.
Brown went 3-for-5 with two runs scored while Andrus and Mason each knocked home a pair of men as five players picked up multi-hit games.
Brandon Dorsey was tabbed with his first decision of the year, a loss, giving up two earned runs in an inning after Hunter Morgan allowed 10 earned runs on 15 hits in six innings.
GAME TWO: CARSON-NEWMAN 3, Wingate 1
With one out in the bottom of the first stanza, Eric Lynch (Boonton, N.J.) and Snapp slapped base hits to right field. Jones popped to short for the second out of the inning. Kirby ripped a 1-1 delivery down the line in left and over the wall for his eighth dinger of the season to put the Eagles on top 3-0.
Wingate loaded the bases with no outs in the top of the third inning. C-N starting pitcher Will Gardner (Morristown, Tenn.) struck out back-to-back batters. Andrew Llewellyn shoveled an RBI single into right field to get the Bulldogs on the board and cut the deficit to 3-1.
Gardner had retired 10 straight batters when Andrus singled to left field in the top of the seventh inning. Little grounded out to second and Barnette flew out to right to seal the series.
For Gardner, he picked up his fourth complete game of the year allowing seven hits and one earned runs while piling up eight strikeouts on 102 pitches to earn his fifth win of the year.
"I wanted to come out here and command the zone," Gardner said. "I wanted to throw my slider effectively. I saw it work at times [this year] and it would work, work, work but it might end up being a double or a home run. I felt like if I executed and didn't miss over the plate I would have success."
Hunter Hamilton, Wingate's starter, retired 15 of the final 16 batters of the game taking his fourth loss of the year despite allowing just three hits and punching out seven.
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