GREENWOOD, S.C. – Unable to capitalize on five Lander miscues and leaving 13 runners on base, Anderson University baseball fell short of an upset bid against the nationally-ranked Bearcats, dropping an 11-4 decision Wednesday evening in nonconference action at Dolny Stadium.
The loss puts the Trojans at 18-27 for the season, as Lander claims the season-long two-game series win over AU, as the Bearcats claimed a 7-5 win on April 8 at Anderson Memorial Stadium. With the win, the nation’s No. 3 ranked team improves to 36-6 overall.
For the first time this season, Anderson used the starting pitcher in the batting lineup as two-way player LJ Newman earned the start on the mound and in the seventh slot in the order. Newman made the most of his opportunity, tossing two shutout innings and allowing just two hits. At the plate, Newman finished 2-for-3 with an RBI while scoring a run.
Six other Trojans tallied a hit for the night, highlighted by doubles from senior Paul Como and sophomore Kyle Bailey. For Como, the two-bagger was his 15th double of the year, putting him two doubles behind the team’s leader in the category, Steven Cooper. Como also led the team in runs scored for the evening, as he crossed the plate twice.
Lander shortstop, Erik Lunde, led the home side’s offensive attack, closing the game 4-for-5 with two home runs, a double, three runs scored and two RBI. Entering the game as the nation’s leader in home runs, Lunde added to the team’s home run total, recording his 10th of the year and the team’s 57th.
Lander’s Connor Lewis, who entered the game in a tie with Anderson’s Nathan Galliford for the nation’s top home run hitter, pounded his only triple of the season in the sixth inning, as he concluded the contest with a 2-for-3 performance with two runs and an RBI.
With just one nonconference game remaining on the schedule, Anderson shifts its focus to its final South Atlantic Conference series of the season this weekend against Newberry. With a win on Friday and a Carson-Newman loss, the Trojans would clinch their first berth in the SAC Tournament in the program’s history. First pitch from Anderson Memorial Stadium on Friday is scheduled for 6 p.m., while a series-ending doubleheader is set for Saturday at 1 p.m.