ANDERSON, S.C. – Coming off a three-game sweep of South Atlantic Conference newcomer Coker last weekend, Anderson University baseball returns to action on Wednesday looking to continue its winning streak when it travels to the Greenville Drive’s Fluor Field to square off against Southern Wesleyan. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
Currently, AU is on a four-game winning streak, capturing a 22-12 marathon win over in-state rival North Greenville prior to the conference sweep. Despite their 7-13 overall record, the Trojans are an impressive 6-3 in SAC play, joining three other teams at the top of the conference standings with three conference losses.
After fending off a six-game losing streak, Anderson’s offense has come alive, hitting .392 in its last four games. The Trojans have added 14 doubles, three home runs and are slugging .585 in the span. Six Trojans, who started in each of the last four games, hit .400 or above in the winning streak, highlighted by senior right fielder Paul Como’s .471 average with five doubles, seven RBI and four runs scored. For the season, Como ranks second nationally in doubles with 10.
Also getting national recognition is classmate Nathan Galliford with seven home runs this season, one home run shy from tying the nation’s leader, Montevallo’s Jackson Slaid. Galliford hit a home run in each contest of the three-game series against Coker, capped off by an eventual game-winning two-run home run, giving AU a 5-4 lead.
Defensively, Anderson’s weekend rotation of Spencer Earle, Thomas Goodman and Landon Beck shined against the Cobras, combining for two complete games, 26 strikeouts and just nine walks. Along with right-hander Evan Jordan, who came in relief in the first game, the four Anderson pitchers held Coker batters to a .202 average.
Beginning the season with 14 straight home games, Southern Wesleyan holds an 8-11 record for the season with a doubleheader scheduled for Tuesday against Truett-McConnell. Most recently, the Warriors captured two-of-three from Southern State Athletic Conference opponent, Brewton-Parker last weekend. After dropping the opening game of the season, SWU clawed its way back into the series, sweeping the doubleheader on Saturday.
Two-way player Daniel Williams is currently hitting a team-high .352 with two doubles and nine RBI. Teammate Michel Hyman, who has started in the outfield in all 19 games, joins Williams as the only other Warrior hitting above .300 this season with a .303 average, adding a double, four RBI and 16 runs scored. For the campaign, Southern Wesleyan begins games quickly, outscoring its opponent 23-3 in the first inning this season.
On the mound, left-handers Matt Buss and Matt Craig each have five starts for the year, as Buss leads the starting rotation with a 2.63 ERA, while Craig carries a 3.45 mark. As a staff, the Warriors are holding teams to a .267 average and are two strike outs away from 100 for the year.
A season ago, SWU captured both meetings between the teams with a 17-11 win on April 11 in Central and a 4-3 win in AU’s regular season finale at Anderson Memorial Stadium.
Wednesday’s meeting marks the third straight season the Trojans will play at Fluor Field, splitting its matchups with Lander in each of the last two seasons. Last year, the Trojans stunned the nationally-ranked Bearcats with a 4-1 win on April 9, 2013.