JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn – Seventh-seeded Carson-Newman will attempt to become the lowest seed in the history of the South Atlantic Conference Baseball Championships to win the league crown as the Eagles face undefeated and second-seeded Lincoln Memorial at 1 p.m. Monday afternoon.
A win from C-N in the game would send it to a winner-take-all title game an hour after the conclusion while a Railsplitters win would clinch their second title in five years.
"It's a great feeling for these kids," Carson-Newman coach Tom Griffin said. "We are proud of them. It's about that more than anything else. My staff has done a great job. I am so fortunate to have those guys. It is their work and effort. We just to want to enjoy it."
Carson-Newman (29-23) has won four SAC Championships (1992, 1993, 1997 and 2007) since the tournament began in 1991. Catawba (7) and Wingate (6) are the only schools with more titles. Tusculum has also won four trophies.
In 2007, the Eagles won three games in one day including scoring three times in the 12th inning to beat Tusculum 6-3 and earn an automatic berth in the NCAA Division II South Regionals. The game last 3:57 and was the longest game in SAC Tournament history.
A top-four team has won all but two championships. Wingate was a five seed in 2015 and finished the SAC regular season with a 15-15 mark. In 2000, Lenoir-Rhyne was sixth in the regular season in 2000 going 13-10 before marching to grab the hardware.
In 2013, Carson-Newman won the first game of the day over undefeated Lincoln Memorial (32-17) 8-3 before the 'Splitters took home their first crown winning 9-4 after the Eagles jumped out to a 2-0 lead.
The Railsplitters got three-RBI days from Nick Pressley and Josh Coker, while Wes Todd fired a complete game on the bump for his fifth win of the season. Todd fired 124 pitches, allowing four runs on eight hits while striking out three
Evan Jurjevic was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored to lead the Carson-Newman offense. Cody Fox went 1-for-3 with a double, RBI and a run scored, while Kevin Franchetti added a double and an RBI for the Eagles.
In the series finale of the three-game sweep for LMU in early April, C-N took a 7-0 lead entering the bottom of the fifth when the 'Splitters scored 19 unanswered runs pounding out 21 hits marking the first time since North Georgia had 20 on March 19, 2013 that a C-N opponent had at least 20 knocks.
During the three games, the Railsplitters hit .410 as a team reaching base safely in just shy of 50 percent of its plate appearances outscoring the Eagles 31-12.
In the 2017 championships, the Eagles have three players hitting .500 or better. Brendan Campbell (Yardley, Pa.) is 8-for-15 with five RBIs and five runs scored. Brett Langhorne (Mechiancsville, Va.) is 10-for-19 with three RBIs and seven runs scored and Greg Jones (Maryville, Tenn.) has 10 hits in 20 at-bats with a couple homers and five RBIs.
Timmy Wages leads the way for LMU having reached base safely in nine of his 13 plate appearnaces with a home run, five RBIs and five runs scored. Logan Augustine has two three-run home runs and six runs scored while hitting .545 and Eric Kalman is 7-for-14 at the plate.
The Eagle Sports Network will be on site to provide the commentary and produce the broadcast on cneagles.com/live beginning at 12:45 p.m.