ANDERSON, S.C. – Despite sealing a position into next week’s Food Lion South Atlantic Conference Tournament on Friday, Anderson University baseball was unable get into the win column for the series against conference foe Newberry, suffering the three-game set with two setbacks, 6-5 and 3-1, on Saturday afternoon at Anderson Memorial Stadium.
With the losses, the Trojans closed their league schedule with a 13-16 record and will enter the annual conference tournament as the No. 6 seed. The Wolves helped themselves out in seeding for the tournament as they moved to fourth place in the SAC standings with a 17-13 league mark. Overall, Newberry improves to 29-21.
The Wolves outhit the home side for all three games this weekend, 36-23, as they capitalized on their .340 batting average for the weekend series. Within Anderson’s 23 hits for the series, the Trojans managed just three extra-base hits, including two doubles coming in the opening game of the day from sophomore first baseman Steven Cooper and senior catcher Jonathan Zalud.
Cooper closed the series with four hits, highlighted by a 3-for-5 performance in the opening contest. The first baseman was responsible for two RBI and a run scored in the one-run loss, snapping his longest hitless streak of the season.
Zalud joined Cooper and third baseman Garrett Bernardo as the only Trojans with hits in both games for the day, as Zalud has tallied a hit in six of his last seven games while hitting .517 and slugging .655 in the span. Bernardo, who scored a run in both games, is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak while scoring seven runs during the stretch.
Newberry’s Ryan Cranmer posted a double in all three games for the weekend as he totaled a hit in each game after tallying a 4-for-5 performance on Friday. Right fielder JoJo Bradley paced the Wolf offense in the first game with a perfect 4-for-4 day with two runs scored and two RBI. In the latter game, shortstop DJ Martinez nabbed a team-high two hits and drove in the eventual game-winning run with a fourth inning single.
Despite the setbacks, Anderson will shift its focus to the SAC Tournament, scheduled to begin on Wednesday in Forest City, N.C. at McNair Field, home of the Coastal Plain League’s Forest City Owls. The sixth-seeded Trojans will square off against top-seeded and regular season co-conference champions, Catawba, which tied Wingate for the league championship with identical 20-7 SAC records. First pitch against the Indians is scheduled for noon.
Before the Trojans begin their postseason, they will honor this year’s seniors with Senior Day on Monday when AU welcomes Southern Wesleyan to Anderson Memorial Stadium. First pitch is slated for 6 p.m.