ANDERSON, S.C. – After visiting Newberry forced extra innings with a ninth-inning run, the Wolves crossed four runs in the 11th inning, as it clinched an 8-4 extra-inning win over Anderson University baseball Friday afternoon at Anderson Memorial Stadium.
Despite the setback, the Trojans have clinched their spot into next week’s Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament as Carson-Newman dropped a 6-0 decision to Catawba on Friday. With the Eagles’ loss, Anderson is now two games ahead of C-N with two games to play.
Adding AU’s setback on Friday, the Trojans fall to 18-28 for the year while falling below .500 in the conference to 13-14. Newberry, which has now separated itself from Anderson in the SAC standings, improves to 15-13 in the league and 27-21 overall.
The Trojans were held to single digits in hits for the second straight game, marking the first time they have completed this feat since the opening games of a three-game set against SAC rival, Wingate on March 8. AU totaled eight hits on the day as senior catcher Jonathan Zalud led the way with a team-high three singles. In Zalud’s last five games, the senior is 12-for-18 (.667) with three doubles and three RBI.
Senior outfielder Josh Hickman recorded two singles for the day, while classmate Nathan Galliford notched Anderson’s lone double on the day. Sophomore Garrett Bernardo and senior Paul Como each recorded a single.
On the mound, junior right-hander JT Trujillo tossed six complete innings and gave up two earned runs while striking out one Newberry hitter. With Newberry’s late runs, Trujillo received the no-decision.
The Wolves pounded out 15 hits as third baseman Ryan Cranmer, who entered the weekend hitting .371, went 4-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored. Cranmer highlighted his day ninth-inning, two-out solo home run that would even the score at 4-4 and eventually send the ballgame into extra frames. Cranmer also knocked a two-run double in the 11th inning, driving in the eventual game-winning runs.
Prior to the late-inning heroics by Cranmer, Newberry jumped on the scoreboard first when Cranmer drove in leadoff man Jermale Paige with an RBI single in the top of the first inning. The Wolves took a 2-0 lead in the fifth when Albert Baur, the team’s leader in hits, brought in Paige with a sacrifice fly.
In the bottom of the frame, the Trojans found the scoreboard when they sent seven hitters to the play and recorded three hits and scored three runs to take their first lead of the contest. After the Wolves tied the game in the sixth, a Zalud single drove in Bernardo giving the home side a 4-3 lead heading into the final three innings.
Anderson held the NC offense to just one hit in the seventh and eighth inning. After the Trojan defense grabbed two quick outs to begin the ninth, Cranmer brought the Wolves back to life with his game-tying homer over the left field wall.
The Trojans look to get back on the winning track on Saturday when they meet Newberry for a series-ending doubleheader at Anderson Memorial Stadium. First pitch of the first game is scheduled for 1 p.m.