JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – Winners of nine of its last 12 outings, Carson-Newman returns to the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex Tuesday afternoon for a 2 p.m. first pitch against King looking for a sixth straight win over the Tornado.
Despite ranking third from the bottom in the league in on-base percentage, Carson-Newman (9-5) leads the South Atlantic Conference in stolen bases with 35 while hitting into the fewest double plays of any club doing so four times through 14 games. The Eagles are the most difficult team to strike out in the conference at 87 punch outs overall on the year after leading the SAC in that category last season.
Tuesday is the 26th all-time meeting against King (9-4) with the Eagles holding an 18-7 advantage including wins in each of the last five. Those victories have come by a combined 10 runs over the last three seasons with the last three featuring two, one-run affairs and a two-run outing.
The most recent win for King came at Smokies Stadium on April 2, 2014 when it took home a 15-5 thumping. For the last win at the Silver Diamond Baseball Complex for the Tornado, you have to go back to the 2013 season when King won 12-8 on Feb. 20.
In the only meeting between the two programs in 2017, C-N edged out King 1-0 thanks to a two-out RBI single to right field by Brendan Campbell in the top of the ninth inning. The Eagles used six different hurlers in the game not allowing a hit until the fifth frame as Raunel Perez tossed the final two stanzas to earn the win.
King enters town coming off of a series victory over Barton over the weekend. After starting 0-2 on the year, the Tornado won seven straight before losing 13-3 to Lincoln Memorial at home last Tuesday.
Ten of the team's 13 games this year have been at home as the team is 8-2 inside of the friendly confines and 1-2 in road outings. The lone away victory came at Anderson on Feb. 3, a 4-0 decision. It was the last road affair for King as each of the last 10 games have been played at home.
At the plate, no team in Conference Carolinas has drawn fewer base on balls than King's 34, 14 fewer than the next team in the league. It only drew a pair against Barton over the weekend and has drawn more than four in one game, an 11-4 win over Mars Hill on Feb. 18.
J.P. Castaneda leads the team in RBIs with 11 on the year while hitting at a .333 clip and enters the matchup riding a five-game hitting streak. He has driven in runs in four consecutive contests and eight of his last 10 games played. With five stole bases, Castaneda ranks third in his conference in the category.
In the field, King has committed a dozen errors in 13 games to hold the second-best fielding percentage in the league at .972. However, base runners have been potent as King's catchers have thrown out two of 12 would-be base stealers.
On the mound, you find the strong suit of the team as the club claims the top team earned run average in Conference Carolinas at 2.99 while striking out 10.55 batters per nine innings and issuing only 43 walks in 102 1/3 innings.
The Eagle Sports Network will have the broadcast on cneagles.com/live starting at 1:45 p.m. with audio and video streams available for free.
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