ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson University baseball team split a South Atlantic Conference twinbill with Mars Hill, falling 12-5 in the opener but bouncing back to claim a 9-3 win in the nightcap, Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Anderson moved to 8-19 overall and 4-8 in the league with its third conference win in its last four SAC contests. Mars Hill fell to 14-14 overall and 4-5 in league play with its third loss in four games.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Mars Hill 12, Anderson 5
Junior shortstop Tyler Miller posted two of the Trojans' six hits in the opener, with a pair of singles and two RBI, while scoring once. Sophomore Carson Barrett clubbed his third home run of the season in the third inning, with junior William Thomas driving in two runs.
Sophomore hurler John McMicking (1-4) took the loss after surrendering eight runs on six hits, while walking two and striking out one in three innings on the mound.
Anderson 9, Mars Hill 3
Freshman Dillon Carpenter was 2-for-2 in the nightcap, with a double and an RBI-single and also drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Senior right fielder Stephen McKnight was 2-for-3, with a double and a two-run homer in the second inning. Freshman second baseman Avery Green added a pair of singles and scored once, with Barrett going 1-for-2 with an RBI-single and also drew a walk. Miller drove in two runs with a fourth-inning single and Thomas crossed the plate twice after notching a single and a walk.
Senior right-hander Chris Ayers (3-3) collected the win after allowing just three runs and scattering four hits over five innings of work. He struck out five Lions and walked four. Freshman Christian Carpenter limited Mars Hill to just one hit in two innings of relief, while fanning two batters.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Trojans got on the scoreboard first with a solo run in the bottom of the first inning, when Thomas singled to center bringing home Miller, who led off with a single to left. Mars Hill countered with a three-run homer in the second off the bat of catcher Matt Honeycutt, but AU answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the second with Miller's two-run single highlighting the scoring, as AU reclaimed a 4-3 edge.
But the Lions responded with another three runs in the top of the third to take a lead they would not surrender. The Trojans trimmed the deficit to 6-5 on Barrett's solo home run, but Mars Hill sent 10 batters to the plate and scored six runs in the top of the fourth inning to claim a 12-5 advantage.
Mars Hill hurlers Jared Matthewson and Fausto Turro stymied AU hitters the rest of the way, as the Trojans managed just three baserunners over the final six innings – one courtesy of a walk and two on errors.
The Trojans posted a pair of runs in the second, third and fourth innings to claim a 6-0 lead. Carpenter got the offense going by leading off the bottom of the second with a double to left field and crossed the plate when McKnight hammered a two-out home run over the fence in right-center.
AU took advantage of three straight singles and Dillon Carpenter's sacrifice fly in the third inning to boost their lead to 4-0. Green laced a one-out single to left-center and Thomas followed by going the opposite way with a single through the left side. Green crossed the plate when Barrett pulled a single to right and Thomas scored on Carpenter's fly out to left.
Jackson Strange led off the home half of the fourth inning with a walk and moved to third when McKnight doubled to center. Two batters later, both crossed the plate on Miller's single up the middle.
The Lions cut AU's lead in half with a three-run fifth inning, which included a pair of home runs beyond the right-field fence, but the Trojans answered with three runs of their own in the bottom of the fifth. Thomas and Barrett opened the frame with back-to-back walks and Carpenter added a single through the right side. All three eventually crossed the plate to set the final score.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE DAY
The series win marked the first for the Trojans since taking the first two from Brevard last March.
• The nine runs scored by the Trojans in the nightcap equaled a season high.
• The Trojans have homered in three consecutive games.
• Thomas continues to lead the Trojans with 12 multiple-hit games.
• Miller is second on the squad with 10 multi-hit contests.
• Miller has reached base in 11 consecutive games.
• Joseph Strange has reached base in his last nine contests.
Anderson travels to Young Harris for a brief one-game road swing on Tuesday, before returning home to open a four-game homestand on Friday.