SALISBURY, N.C. – Falling victim to a walk-off solo home run in the final game of the doubleheader, Anderson University baseball dropped both games on the day to South Atlantic Conference rival Catawba, 9-3 and 4-3, Saturday afternoon at Newman Park.
The two setbacks move the Trojans below .500 in conference play for this first time this year, as they hold a 7-8 mark. Catawba, the SAC preseason favorite, improves to 14-11 for the season and 9-5 in league play.
Offensively, Anderson was led by sophomore Kyle Bailey with two hits in both games, capped off by a sixth inning home run, his second home run of the season. Bailey finished 4-for-7 for the afternoon with three RBI. Joining Bailey with home runs was senior Nathan Galliford, his eighth of the season, Garrett Bernardo and first baseman Steven Cooper. In his last four games, Cooper has recorded a home run in three.
On the mound, junior right-hander Landon Beck posted his third complete game of the season, tossing six complete innings and striking out seven in the final game of the afternoon. Despite the effort, Beck received the loss due to a walk-off home run from Catawba’s Malachi Hanes, breaking a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning. The setback is Beck’s third of the year.
Catawba’s Paul Kronenfeld notched three hits in both games for the afternoon, highlighted by an eighth inning triple in the first game. For the series, the Indians recorded 39 hits, with four home runs, for 23 runs scored.
After suffering a 9-3 loss in the opening game, Anderson took an early 1-0 lead in the final contest of the day when Cooper knocked out a home run over the right-field wall. After Catawba evened the game in the second inning, Bailey drove in third baseman David Jones in the top of the third inning on a single to leftcenter field.
When the Indians tied the game in the bottom of the third, the Trojans grabbed the lead back once again when Bailey turned on a pitch down the leftfield line for his second home run of the year. Despite the lead, Catawba scored once in the sixth, leading to the seventh-inning heroics.
The Trojans return to action on Tuesday when they welcome Peach Belt Conference member GRU Augusta to Anderson Memorial Stadium. First pitch against the Jaguars is set for 6 p.m.