ANDERSON, S.C. – After beginning the season with three setbacks to nationally-ranked UNC Pembroke last weekend at Anderson Memorial Stadium, Anderson University baseball hits the road for the first time this season to archrival Erskine on Tuesday. First pitch at Grier Field is set for 2 p.m.
For the series against UNCP, AU recorded 32 hits but averaged just six runs per game, including a 3-0 shutout loss in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader. Five of Anderson’s 32 hits were home runs as the Trojans pounded out three more home runs than their nationally ranked counterpart on the weekend. Leading the way in the home run category was senior outfielder Nathan Galliford with two home runs, headlined by a long ball to straight away centerfield.
Sophomores Kyle Bailey, Garrett Bernardo and LJ Newman all added home runs on the weekend, as Bailey led the team in average on the weekend, going 6-for-13 (.462) with five runs scored and two RBI. Sophomore first baseman Steven Cooper led the team in doubles for the three-game set with two to go along with his two RBI and three runs scored.
Headlining the starting rotation for the weekend was senior right-hander Thomas Goodman who tossed six inning of shutout baseball before UNC Pembroke scored its only runs of the game in the seventh inning. Despite earning the loss in his start, Goodman struck out three Braves and walked two.
The Flying Fleet
Tuesday’s game will mark the home and season opener for Erskine, as the Fleet enter the midweek matchup after being slotted fourth in the annual Conference Carolinas Baseball Preseason Poll, released by the conference office on Jan. 22. Erskine earned 35 points in the poll, 14 points behind the league favorite, Mount Olive.
The Flying Fleet closed the 2013 season with a 27-24 mark and earned the No. 6 seed in the Conference Carolinas Tournament after finishing 9-12 in league play. EC was knocked from the postseason after suffering an 8-2 loss to now-South Atlantic Conference member Coker in an elimination game.
Returning for the Fleet is senior outfielder Chase Corn who was led the team in runs scored (71), triples (5) and home runs (8) last year. Corn was one of three players to be named to the postseason all-conference team a season ago and lone returnee of the trio.
After Anderson left Conference Carolinas for the SAC before the start of the 2011 season, the Trojans and the Fleet have continued their long-standing rivalry with a three-game series throughout the season. Since the move, AU claimed its first series against its rivals winning 2-of-3, capped off by a 6-3 win at Memorial Stadium on April 3, 2013. Prior to the series win, the Trojans were 1-5 against the Fleet since the conference move.