DUE WEST, S.C. – Unable to recover after Erskine scored six runs in the first two innings, Anderson University baseball dropped to the Flying Fleet in another chapter in the long-standing rivalry between the teams, 9-3, Tuesday afternoon at Grier Field.
With the victory, Erskine earns its first points in the Beville Cup standings, claiming a half point with the other half up for grabs when AU and the Fleet meet for the final time on April 1 at Anderson Memorial Stadium. Overall, the Trojans lead in the Beville Cup standings, 7.0-0.5, with eight points needed to retain the prestigious award.
Senior catcher Jonathan Zalud paced the Anderson lineup, finishing a perfect 3-for-3 with three doubles, an RBI and a run scored. The three doubles were his first extra-base hits of the season, as he is now halfway to his doubles total from a season ago.
Also posting a multi-hit game was designated hitter Ryan Mills, who earned his fourth start of the season. Mills banged out two singles in the third and fifth innings, but was unable to cross the plate for a run. For the season, Mills is hitting .308 (4-for-13).
Senior right fielder Paul Como finished the contest with a 1-for-3 mark, joining Zalud as the lone Trojans with extra-base hits. Como doubled to lead off the sixth inning and eventually scored on a Zalud sacrifice fly. Fellow outfielder Josh Hickman closed the afternoon with a 1-for-4 performance with an RBI, while senior Nathan Galliford posted a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, scoring shortstop Kyle Bailey.
After Erskine scored two runs in the first inning, the Fleet loaded the bases in the second inning for designated hitter Sam Cothran. Cothran took advantage of the base runners and hit his first grand slam of the season, extending the Erskine lead to 6-1 after two innings of play. For Cothran, the home run was his only hit of the ballgame.
Five Erskine hitters posted multi-hit performances, highlighted by right fielder Andre Kozak’s 2-for-4 afternoon with a double, while fellow outfielder Logan Galliher matched Kozak’s 2-for-4 day with a two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth inning.
For the game, Erskine outhit the Trojans, 11-9, marking the first time AU has been outhit since its 9-2 setback against nationally-ranked Nova Southeastern.
Anderson looks to snap its losing streak on Thursday when it returns home for the first time in a week as it hosts in-state rival North Greenville. First pitch from Anderson Memorial Stadium is scheduled for 3 p.m.