Barna, Eagles advance in conference tournament
With many of his Lambuth University, Tenn., teammates playing long ball Wednesday, Chris Barna felt somewhat out of place in the Eagles’ 10-0 playoff baseball victory over Georgetown, Ky.
His teammates exploded for six homers during a seven-run sixth inning, while Barna was finishing off an 0-3 afternoon with his third pop-out.
Of course, the South Tahoe High graduate wasn’t satisfied that he called a shutout behind the plate. Pitcher Andy Manes and Barna combined for a three-hitter as the Eagles advanced to today’s second-round matchup with Union.
“I called a good game, but at the plate I did horribly,” said Barna, who hit .276 with 14 doubles, three homers and 42 RBIs during the regular season. “Any 0-for-3 day gets to your head. I’m seeing it well, I’m just missing.”
The 6-foot-4 Barna did belt two foul homers, but he couldn’t straighten one out like the other Eagles did in the pivotal sixth. The Eagles started the home-run barrage with a solo shot, which was followed by a two-run blast. After another two-run shot, the Eagles hit back-to-back solo homers. Following a strikeout, the Eagles’ capped the six-homer inning with a solo blast.
“We might be back together,” Barna said. “We struggled at the end of the season. Our bats went kind of cool. Until today we weren’t putting that many runs on the board.”
Needing four wins to claim the tournament title, Manes’ masterful performance saved some arms.
“He walked one guy in the ninth and I thought he was done, but I went out and yelled at him a bit and he got it back together,” Barna said.
Lambuth finished third in the Mid South Conference, compiling a 20-8 record. The Eagles, who are 38-21 overall, must finish third on better in this week’s conference tournament to advance to next week’s NAIA regionals.
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