JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Every Carson-Newman starter scored a run in the first inning as the Eagles scored a 15-2 win in their home finale over Bluefield State Tuesday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex.
With the triumph, the Eagles pick up their 22nd home win of 2017 matching the program's Division II record for victories at home in a single season posting an identical 22-6 tally with the 2002 club.
"It means a great deal because we know what this program has been like," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "We know the past and the success that Carson-Newman has had in baseball. It's quite an accomplishment for these seniors because they have done a lot of great things on and off the field. With the community service and the GPA, I think our seniors did a great job."
After the minimum came to the plate in the top of the first, the Eagles sent 15 men to the dish in the bottom of the frame as each of the first nine men reached safely and scored. Two pitchers walked seven batters as the home team tallied just four hits. Paul Kirby (Goodlettsville, Tenn.) drove in a pair as eight of the nine player tallied an RBI to give C-N a 9-0 lead.
An RBI single to left field by Kirby and a bases loaded walk to Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) added a pair to make it an 11-0 game. The RBI for Jones allowed the senior to become the final member of the starting lineup to notch a run driven in through two innings.
With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the third inning, Justin Bowler laced a double just over the outstretched glove of Brett Langhorne (Mechiancsville, Va.) at third base and down the line to get the Big Blues on the board and pull within nine at 11-2.
Kirby continued his day at the park driving a one-out triple to the alley in right-center field to score Ryan Eberle (Cookeville, Tenn.) and expand the lead to 10 runs at 12-2.
Langhorne drove a 1-0 pitch over the fence in right field for a solo home run to start the fifth for his sixth home run of the year. Gooch Greer (Dickson, Tenn.) grounded out to shortstop and Joe Selitto (Newton, N.J.) laced a single to left field to cap the three-run frame and extend the lead to 15-2.
Kirby went 4-for-6 with four RBIs and a run scored in the game. Nine different players tallied a hit and 10 athletes scored in the game. Ryan Addington (Cincinnati, Ohio) went 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
"There is nothing better than [getting a win in the final home game]," Eric Lynch said. "Every time we come out here we try to do the best we can. To come away with a win is just an awesome way to go out and makes everyone happy."
Nine different hurlers tossed an inning for Griffin's group allowing just five hits and racking up nine strikeouts on the day. Grant Rabbitts (Johnson City, Tenn.) was given the win tossing a six-pitch first inning to be victorious for the first time since March 29, 2016.
Bluefield State was led offensively by Bowler who notched two of the team's five hits while plating both runs. Starting pitcher T.J. Sauers did not record an out giving up six earned runs on four walks and one hit to take his first loss of the year.
South Atlantic Conference Baseball Championship action starts Thursday night at 7 p.m. as seventh-seeded Carson-Newman takes on sixth-seeded Coker at Smokies Stadium. The contest will be broadcast on cneagles.com/live starting 15 minutes prior to the first pitch on the Eagle Sports Network.
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