ANDERSON, S.C. – Despite both teams recording 10 hits apiece, Anderson University baseball benefited from four costly GRU Augusta errors to capture a 9-4 win over its Peach Belt Conference foe Thursday afternoon at Anderson Memorial Stadium.
The win clinches a split in the two-game, season-long series after the Jaguars captured the opening game, 4-3, on Feb. 18 at Lake Olmstead Field. The Trojans improve to 10-18 for the season, while GRU Augusta has dropped four straight contests and moves to 11-17.
Three Trojans posted two hits apiece for the afternoon, as sophomore leftfielder Garrett Bernardo finished the afternoon 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Senior catcher Johnathan Zalud tallied a 2-for-3 afternoon with a run scored, while junior middle infielder Brett Cash went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.
Sophomore right-hander David Thompson claimed his third win of the season, completing seven innings and striking out two GRU hitters. After beginning the season with an ERA above 11, Thompson has his ERA below four after giving up just two earned runs in his last two starts. For the season, the right-hander has struck out 33 batters in 34 innings.
After the Jaguars carried a 1-0 lead into the fourth inning, the Trojans answered with at least two runs over the next four innings, taking a commanding 9-1 lead. After GRU’s Hunter Boose connected with an eighth-inning home run, senior right-hander Will Walls came on in the ninth and shut the door on the Jaguars with a scoreless final inning.
Despite the 10 hits for the day, the Trojans failed to post an extra-base hit. With the offense coming alive after the third inning, AU hitters saw six different pitchers from the GRU Augusta staff as starter Tyler Grooms completed the most innings of three. After Grooms exited for eventual losing pitcher, David Bermudez, Anderson’s attack began with an RBI single from Zalud, followed by a wild pitch, scoring senior Paul Como.
Later, Cash drove in senior Nathan Galliford in the fifth inning, while Bernardo singled up the middle in the sixth inning, plating senior David Jones.
With the victory, Anderson snaps a three-game losing streak as it returns to South Atlantic Conference play on Friday. The Trojans begin a three-game homestand with Tusculum, beginning at 6 p.m., followed by a doubleheader on Saturday beginning at 1 p.m.