ANDERSON, S.C. – Crossing two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning was just enough to propel Anderson University baseball to a narrow 3-2 win over South Atlantic Conference foe Carson-Newman Friday evening at Anderson Memorial Stadium.
With the win, the Trojans even up their SAC record at 2-2 and hand the Eagles their first setback in the league after sweeping Brevard last weekend. Overall, C-N falls to 7-2 for the season.
After center fielder Josh Hickman led off the key seventh inning with a double down the left field line, sophomore Garrett Bernardo moved the senior over to third on a sacrifice bunt. With the game-tying run on third base, leadoff batter Kyle Bailey drove Hickman home on a single into right center, evening the game at 2-2.
With two outs in the inning and Bailey advancing to third after a ground out and a passed ball, sophomore Steven Cooper dropped a ball in front of Carson-Newman’s centerfielder Eric Kirkpartrick for the eventual game-winning run.
“This was a good win,” Anderson head coach Joe Miller said. “We got some great pitching today and the balls we put into play, dropped. We’re looking to build off this heading into tomorrow’s doubleheader.”
Prior to the two-run outburst, Carson-Newman shortstop Bryan Everhart blasted his first home run of the season over the centerfield fence to give the Eagles a 2-1 advantage. The home run was starter Spencer Earle’s lone earned run of the game. For the game, Earle tossed 6.1 innings, giving up five hits but striking out six Eagle hitters.
Despite the effort, Earle failed to earn a decision as sophomore hurler David Thompson picks up his first win of the season, coming on in relief in the seventh inning. Sophomore closer Landon Beck closed out the game, striking out three of the five batters he faced. For the season, Beck has thrown four innings and has struck out nine.
Cooper and Hickman led the Trojan offense with two hits apiece, while senior right fielder Paul Como sprayed a double down the right field line. On the opposite side, Carson-Newman failed to post a player with multi-hits, as Everhart scored both of the Eagles’ runs.
Anderson returns to Memorial Stadium on Sunday for a doubleheader against Carson-Newman. Two seven-inning games will be played with the first beginning at 1 p.m.