ANDERSON, S.C. – After playing six complete down just one run, a six-run seventh put of the game out of reach as Anderson University baseball was unable to keep up with nationally-ranked Nova Southeastern, falling 9-2 Thursday afternoon at Anderson Memorial Stadium.
With the setback, the Trojans falter to 3-9 for the season, while NSU, which entered the game as the ninth-ranked team in the country according to the Collegiate Baseball Newspaper Poll, improve to an impressive 11-1 mark.
Starting pitcher, right-hander David Thompson, tossed six complete innings and struck out seven Sharks, but walked six and gave up his only run of the contest in the fourth inning. The six innings was Thompson’s longest outing of this two-year career, after making just three appearances in relief a season ago.
Thompson was outdueled by Nova Southeastern starter Roberto Baroniel, as he completed seven innings and posted five strikeouts. To begin the game, Baroniel took a line drive to his back off the bat of Anderson middle infielder Kyle Bailey, but remained in the game to face 27 Trojans on the afternoon. The win improves the right-hander’s record to 4-0 on the year.
AU, which failed to record any extra base hits for the game, recorded nine hits for the day, as Bailey finished 2-for-4 with a walk. Bailey returns to the hit category after failing to notch a hit against GRU Augusta on Tuesday, snapping a four-game hitting streak.
Continuing his hitting streak for the season was left fielder Nathan Galliford, as the senior posted a 2-for-3 performance. With his two hits for the game, Galliford has now begun a streak of three consecutive games with exactly two hits. For the season, the outfielder is hitting .342, ranking him 22nd in the South Atlantic Conference.
Senior catcher Jonathan Zalud was the final Trojan to pound out two hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored in the ninth inning. The multi-hit game was Zalud’s first of the season as he improved his average to .250.
Nova Southeastern was led by catcher Yandy Viera, finishing 4-for-4 with two doubles, three RBI and three runs scored. Batting in front of Viera in the lineup, outfielder Alex Fernandez went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI as the duo combined for seven of the Sharks’ 14 hits. Second baseman Andrew Liberty added NSU’s third multi-hit game for the day, going 2-for-3 with a run scored.
“(Nova Southeastern) is a good ball club,” Anderson head coach Joe Miller said. “I give credit to Baroniel who was hit on a line drive and then tossed seven innings. That really shows their toughness.”
The rare Sunshine State Conference and SAC matchup was the first time ever AU has hosted a team from the SSC. Despite it being an unlikely matchup for Anderson, Nova Southeastern has wins over SAC opponents Catawba and Tusculum this season.
Anderson returns to the diamond on Friday when it begins a three-game series at Peach Belt Conference member North Georgia. First pitch on Friday is set for 3 p.m.