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Sal Carricato
Sal Carricato earned first team all-region by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and moves to the All-American ballot.
photo courtesy of Lenoir-Rhyne Athletics

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Open SAC Tournament With Win

The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team recorded five runs in the final two innings of their SAC Tournament opener to take down Carson-Newman, 7-3.

The box score won’t be able to provide a true story of how this matchup played out for the Bears as the No. 5 seed in the conference tournament only recorded five hits on the afternoon.

Instead, it was the small ball from the Bears that pushed them past the Eagles with Wade Cuda and Cole Laskowski recording sacrifice fly-outs in the eighth, while Tyler McPeak picked a sacrifice pop-up in the ninth.

These two programs faced one another two weekends ago in Jefferson City, Tenn. In a three-game series that was decided by tight outcomes, it was no different in the first game of the SAC Tournament. But for the Bears, they earned a great start to a “new season.”

Sal Carricato led the Bears with a two-hit day; the redshirt sophomore came into the postseason with a team-best .367 batting average. The Long Island, N.Y. native also had a 2-RBI day for the Bears.vFour of the five LR hits were doubles. Blake Bean, Zach Evans, Laskowski, and Carricato each had a two-bagger of their own.

Braden Houston earned the win for the Bears after going 3.1 innings pitched while allowing only four hits and one earned run. It is the first winning decision for the redshirt senior since March 5 vs. Anderson.vThe Eagles did not do themselves any favors by committing three errors in the contest. Aiden Gibson, Noah Pridmore and Grif Hughes were each charged with one error.

LR did a great job of not retiring at the plate as they only struck out on two occasions.

LR gets its first win over Carson-Newman in the SAC Tournament in 22 years; the last Bears win came in a 7-6 victory that gave LR its second SAC Championship.vWith the win, LR is now 5-3 in all-time meetings against Carson-Newman at the SAC Tournament.

It is first time that LR has won two consecutive tournament openers since 2000-01; ironically enough, the Bears were back-to-back SAC Champions in those years.vThis victory snaps the Bears five-game losing streak against SAC foes. LR ended the regular season with two losses to the Eagles and three losses to Newberry.

In their all-time meetings, Carson-Newman leads Lenoir-Rhyne with a 64-38 record.