ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson University baseball team will be looking for its third straight win when South Atlantic Conference-opponent Catawba invades Memorial Stadium for a three-game series this weekend.
First-pitch for Friday afternoon's twin bill is slated for 2 p.m., with Saturday's contest set for a 1 p.m. start.
Admission to Trojan baseball games is $5 - students, faculty and staff, along with members of the Trojan Club are admitted free of charge. No dogs are allowed inside Memorial Stadium with the exception of service dogs.
WHO: Anderson Trojans (10-19, 5-10 SAC) vs. Catawba Indians (17-16, 11-4 SAC)
WHERE: Anderson Memorial Stadium; Anderson, S.C.
WHEN: Friday, 2 p.m. / Saturday, 1 p.m.
Live Stats: AUTROJANS.COM
Anderson is 10-19 overall and 5-10 in the conference after snapping a seven-game skid by knocking off Erskine on Tuesday and edging Southern Wesleyan on Wednesday.
Sophomore Dillon Carpenter leads the Trojans with 28 RBI and a .313 batting average, while freshman Tyler Berry is batting .310 in 15 appearances on the season. Sophomore Matthew Overton has started 28 games and is third on the team with a .301 batting average and is second on the squad with a .530 slugging percentage, while drawing a team-high 28 walks. Redshirt freshman Chandler Castleberry has recorded a team-best eight homers and paces the Trojans with his .573 slugging percentage.
Sophomore Austin Todd and junior Will Gee, along with reliever Christian Carpenter, each have two wins on the season, while junior left-hander Matthew Stanley leads the bullpen with three saves. Carpenter and Gee have each fanned 28 batters this season, with Todd striking out 25 batters in 24 2/3 innings of work.
LAST TIME OUT
Behind a five-run first inning, the Trojans opened a five-game homestand by defeating Southern Wesleyan, 6-5, in nonconference action Wednesday night at Memorial Stadium.
Freshman Justin Helms was 2-for-3 at the plate, with a pair of singles and drove in a run, while junior Jackson Strange added a two-run double and a single. Castleberry reached base on a pair of walks and a fielder's choice, with Dillon Carpenter posting a single and a walk in five trips to the plate. Senior Tyler Miller doubled and scored in the second inning.
Junior right-hander Stetson Scott improved to 1-1 on the season after allowing four runs on eight hits in five full innings. The Clayton, Ga., native fanned three and did not walk a batter. Stanley worked the ninth inning and earned his third save of the season, while surrendering a run on one hit. He struck out one batter and did not issue a free pass.
SCOUTING THE INDIANS
Catawba was tabbed to win the league's regular-season title in the South Atlantic Preseason Coaches' Poll, after posting a 40-17 overall record last season, including a 19-5 mark and winning the regular-season championship for the fifth straight season a year ago. The Indians also began the season ranked third in the Preseason NCBWA Southeast Region Poll.
Luke Setzer, the reigning SAC Player of the Year, along with Kyle Smith and Hunter Shepherd were named first team preseason All-SAC and to the NCBWA first team All-Southeast Region squad. Chance Bowden, who has earned SAC Player of the Week honors twice this season, was a preseason All-SAC second team pick.
Setzer, a senior outfielder, batted .415 with 102 hits, 18 home runs and 57 RBI last season. Smith, a senior outfielder, batted .345 with eight homers, 36 RBI and 60 runs scored. Shepherd, a sophomore pitcher, posted an 8-0 record on the mound with a 3.49 ERA. He logged 67 innings and fanned 50. Bowden, a senior first baseman hit at a .355 clip with 11 home runs and a team-high 20 doubles.
Catawba opened the season with seven straight losses against tough competition, but quickly righted the ship and has won eight consecutive decisions, including five of its last six league outings. Junior Heath Mitchum leads the conference with a .421 batting average, while Bowden is fourth with a .396 batting average and leads the SAC with 43 RBI. Setzer is tied for first in the league with a dozen home runs.
THE SERIES vs. CATAWBA
The Trojans and Indians have met 33 times since the 2001 season, with Catawba holding a 25-8 advantage in the all-time series. The Indians had won 16 consecutive matchups until AU claimed an 11-9 win in last year's series finale.
AU will play host to Young Harris on Monday before traveling to North Georgia on Tuesday and squaring off against Southern Wesleyan for the second time in a week on Wednesday.