Trojans Roll Past Augusta StateFebruary 14, 2013
McKnight Strikes Out Seven
ANDERSON, S.C. – With junior right-fielder Paul Como leading the way at the plate, Anderson erupted for a season-high 17 hits as the Trojans defeated Augusta State, 13-2, Thursday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Anderson improved to 3-6 on the season with its second consecutive win and has won three of its last four, while Augusta State slipped to 3-4 and suffered its third consecutive setback.
The Trojans posted their highest offensive output since topping Southern Wesleyan, 18-11, in mid-Aril last season, while the AU pitching staff has allowed just two earned runs over the last 18 innings.
Como was a perfect 5-for-5 at the plate, including a double and scored three times, while driving in a run. Freshman Chris Ayers was 3-for-5, with three singles and drove in four runs, while Nathan Galliford posted two hits and a walk in three at-bats and scored three times. First-baseman Steven Cooper notched a triple and a double and scored twice, with Ben Pendleton recording two RBI on an eighth-inning single.
Left-handed pitcher Stephen McKnight (1-1) earned his first win on the mound for the Black and Gold, surrendering two earned runs over 5 2/3 innings and striking out seven Jaguars and walking just one. The freshman gave up just three hits over the first five innings, as AU built a 4-1 lead. Three Trojan hurlers, Jacob Saxon, Mitchell Cooksey and Will Walls combined to shut down the Jaguars over the final 3 1/3 innings.
The Trojans worked Augusta State starter Trey McAvoy (0-1) for six earned runs off seven hits in four innings, saddling him with the loss. Jamie Suggs and Phil Dukes allowed seven runs off 10 hits over the final four frames for the Jaguars.
McKnight started off the contest by striking out the side in the first inning and posted four strikeouts in the first two frames, while AU, which recorded six extra- base hits on the day, went ahead 3-0 in the second inning. After loading the bases with one out, Ayers delivered a two-run single to left field that plated Galliford and Como. Shortstop Brett Cash followed with a two-out double to right-center to bring home Ayers.
Augusta State responded with a solo run in the third inning, as Andrew Cooley drew a one-out walk and scored on JD Sabo’s triple to center. But McKnight settled down to strike out Bradley Dennis and induced Jeff Rice to pop out to Ayers at second to end the threat.
Anderson added a solo run in the fourth and put the game out of reach with a four-run fifth inning, taking an 8-1 lead while batting around in the order. Cooper led off the inning with a triple into the right-field corner and scored when Josh Hickman followed with a double down the left-field line. The Trojans added three runs with two outs, as Galliford’s single through the left side scored Hickman and Ayers’ single to right brought home both Galliford and Como, who earlier beat out an infield hit.
Rice recorded Augusta State’s first home run of the season with a one-out blast to center in the top of the sixth, trimming AU’s advantage to 8-2 but the Jags would get no closer as Anderson scored five times in the bottom of the eighth inning to set the final margin.
The Trojans wrap up their eight-game homestand and open South Atlantic Conference play with a three-game weekend series versus Lincoln Memorial this weekend. The first game of the series is scheduled for 6 p.m. Friday at Anderson Memorial Stadium.