ANDERSON, S.C. – Senior Jackson Strange's leadoff home run in the bottom of the sixth inning proved to be the difference in the nightcap, as the Anderson baseball team earned a hard-fought split of a South Atlantic Conference doubleheader with Tusculum, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Anderson moved to 13-25 overall and 4-14 in conference action with the split, while Tusculum slipped to 26-15 and 13-5.
Tusculum 9, Anderson 3
Sophomore Will O'Brien was 2-for-4 in the opener, with two singles and also reached on a first-inning walk. Junior Cody Adams added a pair of singles and junior Matthew Overton drove in two runs with a first-inning triple.
Senior Will Gee (2-6) took the loss after allowing six runs on six hits in six innings of work. The right-hander fanned four Pioneers and issued three free passes.
Anderson 4, Tusculum 3
Jackson Strange's lone hit of the nightcap loomed large, while Adams was 1-for-3, with an RBI-double and also reached on a walk. Sophomore Chandler Castleberry added a single and a walk in three trips to the plate, with Joseph Strange notching a double and a walk.
Starting pitcher Austin Todd limited the Pioneers to three runs on five hits in five innings on the mound, while equaling a season-high with five strikeouts. Junior right-hander Christian Carpenter (1-1) earned the win with two innings of relief. He allowed one hit and struck out two batters.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Overton's two-out, two-run triple in the bottom of the first inning gave the Trojans a quick 2-0 advantage, but Tusculum countered with solo runs in the third and fourth innings, while posting two runs in each of the fifth and sixth frames.
AU got a run back in the bottom of the sixth by taking advantage of back-to-back singles from Jackson Strange and Adams to lead off the home half of the inning and Strange crossed the plate when O'Brien reached on an error.
The Pioneers closed out the scoring and built a 9-3 cushion with three runs in the top of the seventh.
After a scoreless opening two innings, the Trojans struck first by posting two runs in the bottom of the third inning. Adams led off with a walk, moved into scoring position on Will Lindsey's sacrifice bunt and went to third on a wild pitch. Following a walk to Castleberry, he scored when Brandon Odachowski bounced out to the right side and Castleberry crossed the plate when Overton reached on an error.
Tusculum cut the Trojans' lead in half with a run in the top of the fourth, but Adams answered for AU with an RBI-double that brought home Jacob Kohns and increased its lead to 3-1.
The Pioneers evened the score with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth, with Jackson Strange's second homer of the year – a solo shot well beyond the fence in left in the bottom of the sixth frame – providing the final margin.
The Trojans will get back on the diamond Tuesday, when longtime rival Erskine invades Memorial Stadium for the second time this season. First-pitch versus the Flying Fleet is scheduled for 6 p.m.