ANDERSON, S.C. – Behind a balanced offensive attack and clutch pitching, the Anderson baseball team moved closer to clinching its fourth appearance in six seasons in the South Atlantic Conference Tournament by rallying past Mars Hill, 8-6, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Anderson improved to 18-28 overall and 7-15 in the league with its second straight win and its six victory in its last nine decisions. Mars Hill fell to 17-25 and 4-17 with its' sixth loss in seven outings.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
First baseman Dillon Carpenter was 3-for-5 on the afternoon, with a pair of singles and a solo home run in the fifth inning. He drove in three runs and scored twice. Sophomore right fielder Chandler Castleberry was 2-for-5, with a two-run homer and a triple to right field. He also crossed the plate twice. Sophomore Will Lindsey reached base on two singles and a walk, while scoring three runs. Senior Brandon Odachowski posted a pair of singles and also reached on an error. Sophomore Trevor Weisner notched two singles, with classmate Will O'Brien reaching base on a pair of walks. Senior Jackson Strange added a single and reached on a walk.
Senior Will Gee drew the start on the mound and improved to 4-6 on the season, after allowing six runs on eight hits over six innings. The right-hander struck out eight batters and did not issue a walk. Freshman Lucas Smith worked a perfect two innings of relief, while fanning two of the six batters he faced. Junior Christian Carpenter set a school record by earning his league-leading 13th save of the season. The right-hander fanned two Lions and walked one in the final inning.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Mars Hill got off to a fast start and took an early 2-0 lead after just a half-inning of play, but the Trojans answered with three runs in the bottom of the first, when Lindsey laced a one-out single to center, moved into scoring position on a wild pitch and scored on Dillon Carpenter's single. Castleberry followed with his team-leading eighth home run of the season – a shot over the fence in right-center.
Each team posted a solo run in the third inning, with Mars Hill capitalizing on a pair of homers in the fifth frame to take a 6-4 lead. But the Trojans answered with two runs in the fifth to knot the score at six apiece and took advantage of two walks and a pair of wild pitches to score two more times in the sixth inning, with Smith and Carpenter ensuring that the lead stood up over the final three innings.
• Palmetto Insurance Associates, which sponsors the "Jackpot Inning" during the fifth inning at all home games, gave away $500 to a lucky fan when Dillon Carpenter hammered his home run over the fence in right field.
• The Trojans have two conference games remaining on their schedule and combined with Coker and Lenoir-Rhyne's losses on Saturday afternoon, the Trojans are deadlocked with both the Cobras and Bears in the battle for the eight-team conference tournament. AU owns the tiebreaker over both the Cobras and the Bears.
• Christian Carpenter's 13 saves ranks third all-time in the SAC record books for saves in a single season.
• The Trojan pitching staff has issued just one walk over the last 23 innings of work.
• Brandon Odachowski stretched his hitting streak to six games
• Chandler Castleberry has reached base safely in his last 19 consecutive games.
• Will Lindsey and Brandon Odachowski have each reached base safely in their last seven straight games.
• With the wind blowing out to center field, the two teams combined to belt six home runs on the afternoon.
• The Trojans said farewell to nine seniors prior to Saturday's first pitch at Memorial Stadium – Will Gee, Jackson Strange, Joseph Strange, Brandon Odachowski, John McMicking Christian Hendrix, Stetson Scott, Matthew Stanley and James Gardner – will play their final game at Memorial Stadium on Monday afternoon.
Anderson will wrap up its regular-season slate on Monday, when the Trojans and Lions square off for a doubleheader at Memorial Stadium. First-pitch is slated for 2 p.m.