JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Brett Langhorne drove in three runs and scored the game-winning run and nine pitchers paced Carson-Newman to a 6-5 victory over Shorter Tuesday afternoon at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex for its fifth straight win.
"They did well," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "If there is a negative they pitched behind in the count and gave up some freebies. We had two guys get their feet wet. That's what these games are for. You have to get guys some work because we are going to need them at some point this year."
Carson-Newman (5-2) beats Shorter (3-4) for the sixth time in seven tries while going 5-for-12, .417, with runners in scoring position after entering the game with a .226 margin as a team.
"That was key for us," Griffin analyzed. "I thought we have done a good job with two strikes and two-out situations – we have had some big hits. I think we are pleased as a staff on our approaches at the plate. We are able to play a lot of guys and show some depth which is good."
Eight men came to the plate in the bottom of the second inning as the Eagles took control early. With runners at second and third base, Kilian Daughtry (Simpsonville, S.C.) hit a bouncer in the hole on the left side of the infield to plate Ethan Goforth (Blacksburg, Va.) to start the scoring. The bases were loaded with two outs when Brett Langhorne (Mechiancsville, Va.) stepped to the plate. The senior laced the first pitch he saw off of the fence in straightaway center field to clear the bags and make it a 4-0 contest.
Shorter cut the deficit in half in the top of the third. Isaiah Maddela hit a 3-2 pitch into left field for a base knock and a sacrifice fly from Victor Perez sliced the score to 4-2.
C-N added a run in the bottom of the third inning on a sacrifice fly to left field by Colby Morgan (Hixson, Tenn.) to score Goforth and stretch the margin to three at 5-2.
With runners at first and second base in the top of the fourth, Raul Cortes laced a double into the alley in right-center field to score Angel Acosta. A sacrifice fly to right from Bailey Gertsner pulled the Hawks within a run at 5-4.
Langhorne singled to center field with one out in the sixth and stole second base on the next pitch. After a ground out, Cade Snapp (Seymour, Tenn.) hit a blooper that dropped in between a trio of Hawks in shallow left-center field to add insurance and push the margin to 6-4 for C-N.
Maddela stood in the batter's box with one out and a runner at first base in the top of the seventh. He hit a liner into the right-field corner. The throw back into the infield skipped away from a pair of Eagles to allow Gertsner to cross the plate and pull the Hawks within a run at 6-5. Shorter loaded the bases in the stanza. Greg Valentine (Knoxville, Tenn.) struck out Angel Acosta swinging to thwart the threat.
"Going into that batter you have to focus on strike one," Valentine reflected. "From there you have a lot of possibilities. For me, hope that my movement works and my pitches work. I trust it and allow my defense to do what they do."
In the top of the ninth, Maddela was hit by a pitch with one out to put the tying run on base. Will Gardner (Morristown, Tenn.) fell behind Samyr Santos 3-0 before inducing a 5-4-3 double play to earn his third save of the year.
Langhorne finished the afternoon by going 2-of-4 with three RBIs, a stolen base and a run scored. Snapp, Goforth and Sharpe all added a pair of knocks as C-N outhit Shorter 11-6 on the day.
Maddela went 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Hawks and Raul Cortes added a pair of hits and reached base three times.
In his first career outing, Jacob Hanson (Lawrenceville, Ga.) tossed a scoreless second inning and scoop up the win on the rubber.
Shorter's starter Grant Jacobs allowed five earned runs in two innings to take the loss as he falls to 1-1 on the season.
The Eagles play host to 14th-ranked Northwood for a three-game series at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex this weekend starting with a doubleheader at noon on Saturday. All games will be broadcast on cneagles.com/live with video and audio streams available.
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