ANDERSON, S.C. – With 18 hits for the game and 12 runs in the fourth inning, Anderson University baseball cruised to a 22-12 marathon victory over nonconference in-state opponent North Greenville Thursday afternoon at Anderson Memorial Stadium.
The Trojans posted 20 runs for the first time since a 20-11 win over archrival Erskine on Feb. 15, 2010, as that came during a seven-inning game. With the 10-run triumph, Anderson earns a long-awaited victory, snapping a six-game setback streak. The 18 Trojan hits are the highest total this season, breaking a previous high, 15, in the home opener.
The 12 runs in the fourth inning ties the highest total of runs scored in an inning this season, as AU tallied 12 runs in the fourth inning in the series finale at Mars Hill on Feb. 8. For the inning, Anderson pounded out five hits, capped off by a three-RBI triple off the bat of sophomore first baseman Steven Cooper, who finished the afternoon with three runs scored and four RBI.
With his only hit on the day, Cooper extended his hitting streak to 13 games, as he ranks first on the team with seven doubles and is hitting .299 for the year.
Excluding senior catcher Ben Pendleton, who closed the contest with a 3-for-5 performance with three runs scored and an RBI, eight Trojans were substituted for, as the home side sent 17 different hitters to the plate for the night.
Headlining the lineup was designated hitter Jonathan Zalud who is a combined 7-for-7 in his last two games with five RBI and three runs scored. For the night, Zalud went 4-for-4 with two doubles, four RBI and two runs scored. On the year, Zalud is hitting .444 with a .630 slugging percent.
All but one Trojan in the starting lineup recorded a hit for the afternoon as the senior outfield trio of Josh Hickman, Nathan Galliford and Paul Como all banged out two hits, as Como notched two doubles with three RBI. Hickman and Galliford each tallied a double with Galliford scoring four runs and driving in two.
On the mound, sophomore hurler David Thompson claimed his second victory of the season, tossing five complete innings while striking out seven Crusaders, tying his strikeout amount from his last start against Nova Southeastern on Feb. 20. After being roughed up in his first two appearances, Thompson has bounced back, tossing a combined 11 innings with 14 strikeouts and giving up just five earned runs in his last two starts.
A quartet of pitches closed the game for the Black and Gold, as Mitchell Cooksey, Austin Smith, Daulten Stewart and Hunter Crompton solidified the victory on the night. Cooksey came in the game in the sixth inning and forced three straight outs, holding NGU in check.
The Crusaders added 11 hits for the game, as designated hitter Allen Staton was one of two NGU hitters with two hits on the night, as he recorded two runs scored with his hit tally. First baseman Josh Sealey joined Staton with a 2-for-4 day with three RBI and two runs scored.
Anderson looks to continue the hit parade on Friday when it returns to its South Atlantic Conference schedule against conference newcomer, Coker. First pitch from Anderson Memorial Stadium is set for 6 p.m.