ANDERSON, S.C. – After claiming its first series win last weekend against South Atlantic Conference foe Carson-Newman, Anderson University baseball seeks a busy upcoming week with five games in six days, beginning with a midweek contest on Tuesday at GRU Augusta. First pitch from Lake Olmstead Stadium is set for 3 p.m.
Facing a disappoint start to the 2014 season, tallying six straight setbacks, AU is winners of three of its last four, including capturing 2-of-3 from Carson-Newman, which entered the weekend at the conference leader. For the series, the Trojans posted 23 hits for 15 runs, capped off by an eight-run performance in the final game of the series as AU knocked off C-N, 8-2.
Preseason All-SAC Second Team honoree, junior Landon Beck, shined on the mound for the weekend, earning his first save of the season on Friday night and followed with a complete game victory over the Eagles in the rubber game. For the three-game set, Beck struck out 13 Eagles in eight innings pitched while not giving up a walk. On the young season, Beck has tossed 11 innings recording 19 strikeouts.
Entering the weekend with a .130 batting average with a double, junior middle infielder Brett Cash capped off the series with the Eagles with a 2-for-3 performance with a two-run home run and a two-run double to propel AU to an 8-2 win. Posting four hits for the weekend was senior outfielder Josh Hickman and sophomore first baseman Steven Cooper, as the tandem combined for four runs scored and four RBI.
GRU Augusta, formerly Augusta State, enters Tuesday’s game with a 4-6 overall mark, beginning the season dropping 2-of-3 to Carson-Newman. Since that weekend, the Jaguars are 3-4 coming off a series loss to Peach Belt Conference member Armstrong last weekend. Tuesday’s meeting will mark the first time GRU Augusta has been at home since the home series with C-N.
Offensively, Jeff Rice leads the team with a .448 average (13-for-29) with four doubles, four RBI and seven runs scored. His impressive start to the season ranks him ninth in the PBC in average and eighth in doubles. Bradley Dennis and Hunter Boose join Rice combining for 26 hits, 10 runs scored and 13 RBI.
On the hill, Kip Custer carries a 1.42 ERA with a 2-1 record in three starts. Custer has tossed 19 innings and has struck out nine and holding hitters to a .264 average. Fellow starter, Frank Warren, is 1-0 in three starts for the year, joining Custer with 19 innings pitched and nine strikeouts.
Last season, the Trojans split the season-long series with the Jaguars, as the teams protected their home fields with wins. Anderson notched a convincing 13-2 win over then-Augusta State on Feb. 14, 2013, while the Jags posted a 9-5 win in the Peach State on March 19, 2013.