ANDERSON, S.C. – Clutch pitching and timely hitting propelled the Anderson University baseball team to a sweep of a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader with Coker, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Anderson (8-12, 5-4 SAC) defeated Coker (9-11, 0-9 SAC) by a 10-6 count in the opener, while doubling up the Cobras, 6-3, in the nightcap to claim three straight victories over the weekend.
The Trojans have won four of their last five outings and improved to 7-5 at home on the season, while Coker has suffered 10 consecutive setbacks since winning 9-of-10 to open the season.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Anderson 10, Coker 6
Senior Tyler Miller was 2-for-3 in the opener with a single, a two-run homer and also reached base on a pair of walks, while freshman Chandler Castleberry reached base four times after getting hit by a pitch three times and posting a single in the eighth inning. Sophomore Dillon Carpenter was 1-for-4 with four RBI after drilling a three-run homer in the first inning. Junior Jackson Strange belted his second homer of the season in the fourth inning, with senior William Thomas scoring three times and recording a double and two walks. Junior Brandon Odachowski added an RBI-double and a walk, with freshman Tyler Berry posting a walk and a single.
Junior Will Gee (2-2) earned the win after surrendering four runs on six hits in 5 2/3 innings, while striking out three and walking three. Junior Matthew Stanley captured his second save of the year by limiting the Cobras to one hit in two innings of relief, while striking out one.
Anderson 6, Coker 3
Thomas was 2-for-4 in the nightcap, with a pair of singles and drove in two runs, with Joseph Strange adding a double and a walk. Sophomore Alex Medlin also doubled and was hit by a pitch. Both Strange and Medlin scored twice.
Senior Andrew Dill (1-1) earned the win by tossing five full innings and allowing just three runs on four hits, while fanning five and walking only two. Sophomore John McMicking earned his first save of the season with two innings of relief. The right-hander gave up just two singles, while striking out four and not issuing a free pass.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Thomas and Miller opened the game by reaching base on a double and a walk, respectively, and Carpenter followed by hammering his third home run of the season beyond the right-field fence to give AU a quick 3-0 lead.
Coker got on the scoreboard with a solo run in the top of the fourth, but the Trojans increased their advantage to 5-1 when Jackson Strange led off the bottom of the inning by clubbing a solo shot over the fence in left-center. Odachowski followed with a walk and later crossed the plate on an error by the Cobras.
Odachowski's two-out double in the fifth plated Castleberry with AU's sixth run, before Coker slashed the Trojans' advantage to 6-4 with a three-run sixth inning. But AU quickly got two of the runs back on Miller's first home run of the season that was well beyond the left-field fence.
The Cobras again closed within two in the seventh frame but the Trojans added a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to close out the scoring.
The Trojans grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning, but Coker responded with two in the top of the third to take a brief 2-1 lead. AU sent eight batters to the plate and scored twice to claim a 3-2 edge after three innings.
After the Cobras knotted the score at three apiece with another run in the top of the fourth, AU scored two runs when Thomas went the opposite way for a two-run single and gave the Trojans a lead they would not relinquish, at 5-3.
Carpenter's two-out double to left-center in the sixth inning plated Thomas with the final run of the contest.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE DAY
The Trojans recorded three home runs in the first game, marking the second game in three outings – and third time this season - that they have belted three home runs in one game.
• The Trojans have recorded multiple home runs in six games.
• The three-game sweep marks the first SAC sweep by AU since taking three from Mars Hill during the 2015 season.
• Carpenter is currently riding a six-game hitting streak.
• Castleberry has reached base safely in every game this season.
• Matthew Overton has reached base safely in 19 straight games.
• Miller has reached base safely in 13 consecutive games.
AU embarks on a season-high nine-game road swing, beginning with a rematch with Emmanuel on Thursday and continuing with a three-game conference series at Carson-Newman next weekend.