ANDERSON, S.C. – Highlighted by three home runs, Anderson University baseball captured the final game of a season-long three-game set against archrival Erskine with a 9-6 victory Tuesday evening at Anderson Memorial Stadium.
With the victory, the Trojans move to 13-23 for the season and move within a half-point from retaining the prestigious Beville Cup with three events remaining. The Flying Fleet drop to 21-9 for the season.
Senior outfielders Nathan Galliford, Paul Como and sophomore first baseman Steven Cooper all belted home runs for the night, as the Trojans outhit their rivals, 14-10, for the evening. In addition to the home runs, senior catcher Jonathan Zalud posted a 4-for-4 evening with a double and a run scored, as Zalud marked the fourth time this season a Trojan has tallied four hits for a game.
Also recording a multi-hit evening was the top two hitters in the AU lineup in sophomore second baseman Kyle Bailey, with two hits and a pair of runs scored, and sophomore Garrett Bernardo with two hits, two runs and an RBI.
On the mound, starter JT Trujillo earned his third victory of the season, completing six innings and striking out six Erskine hitters. Sophomore right-hander Mitchell Cooksey entered the contest in the seventh inning and blanked the Fleet, giving up just four hits.
After Erskine’s top of the order in Andrew Kozak and Brandon Overstreet combined for five hits on the night, the rest of the lineup totaled just five hits, including Logan Galliher’s 2-for-4 performance. The Fleet sent out five different pitchers as Chase Norman was tabbed with the loss, giving up three runs in the sixth inning.
Anderson jumped out of the blocks quickly with four runs in the first three innings, despite recording just three hits in the span. To lead off the second inning, Como notched AU’s first hit with his second home run of the season over the left-center field wall. Immediately following the outfielder, Zalud doubled into the right-center gap for his eighth double of the year.
Erskine inched itself back with back-to-back three-run innings in the fifth and the sixth, taking its first lead at 6-4 after the top of the sixth. Zalud answered the EC rally with a single, leading to senior Josh Hickman’s RBI double to left center, plating the catcher. The Trojans would later tack on two more runs on an RBI single by Bernardo and an RBI ground out by Cooper.
Cooksey shut down the Erskine lineup as the Fleet failed the score another run for the rest of the game, as the Trojans claimed their first win over their rivals since the final game of the series a season ago on April 3, 2013.
AU returns to action on Wednesday when it hits the road to complete another season-long three-game set, this time at in-state rival North Greenville. The Trojans look to claim the series as first pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.