ANDERSON, S.C. – Beginning the afternoon with a furious comeback to claim a 13-12 win in 10 innings, in the first game of the twin bill, Anderson University baseball was unable to claim the series against South Atlantic Conference rival Tusculum, falling 11-8 in the second contest of the day Saturday afternoon at Anderson Memorial Stadium.
The split moves the Trojans to 11-20 for the year and 8-10 in conference play, while the Pioneers take a 19-11 overall mark and a 9-8 league record into next week. With AU’s 8-10 conference mark, the Trojans are even with in-state rival Newberry for sixth place in the league standings.
Senior Nathan Galliford, who started as the designated hitter in both games on the day, pounded out six hits for the afternoon, including his ninth home run of the season to lead off the fifth inning in the opening game of the day. To go along with his six hits, the senior totaled four runs scored and four RBI. Galliford’s nine home runs on the season currently rank second in the conference, two behind the SAC leader.
Sophomore leftfielder Garrett Bernardo recorded five hits, all singles, as he crossed the plate four times for the day, while sophomore first baseman Steven Cooper belted his fifth home run of the season and fifth in his last eight games in the first inning of game two. The two-run blast gave the Trojans a 2-0 lead to begin the second game, before TC made its comeback to claim the victory.
Senior outfielder Paul Como posted two hits in the latter matchup, while junior middle infielders Brett Cash and Kyle Bailey recorded two hits apiece in the thrilling 13-12 extra inning victory.
Despite a 0-for-4 game, senior centerfielder Josh Hickman became the hero of the extra inning game as his sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Cash, solidified the victory after the Trojans plated two runs to draw the score even once again.
Prior to the 10th inning heroics, junior right-hander Evan Jordan came in relief for starter Thomas Goodman and completed five innings with two strikeouts and two earned runs. For his efforts, Jordan tallied his first victory of the season.
A big contribution to Anderson’s comeback was its six runs in the bottom half of the seventh frame, highlighted by Galliford’s sixth double of the season, which scored Cooper, and Cash’s RBI single, scoring Galliford. The Trojans took advantage of three consecutive walks, followed by an error, to score six on two hits for the inning.
To open the first game, AU tallied five straight hits, leading to three runs, as Bailey, Bernardo and Cooper, who began the Trojan lineup for the day, all came around to score.
For the season, Anderson has posted double figure hits in three of its last four contests and has recorded a home run in its last three games. After striking out eight times on Friday, the Trojans went down on strikes a combined five times for both games. As a team, Anderson is hitting .285 for the year.
Anderson returns to its nonconference schedule with back-to-back road contests with in-state rivals North Greenville on Tuesday and USC Aiken on Wednesday. Both games are scheduled for 6 p.m.