ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson University baseball team jumped out to an early lead, then held off a late King University rally, as the Trojans defeated the Tornado, 8-6, in the season opener for both teams, Friday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
With the win, Anderson improved to 3-1 in the brief all-time series that began just last season.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Freshman Logan Jackson was 2-for-4, with a three-run triple and a run-scoring single in his collegiate debut, while veteran Dillon Carpenter belted a one-out, two-run homer in his first appearance at the plate in the bottom of the first inning. Junior Cody Adams was 2-for-5, with a double and an RBI-single in his first game with the Black and Gold. Freshman Jack Fasino added a sixth-inning single and drove in a run with a fourth-inning sacrifice fly. Senior Brandon Odachowski added a double and was hit by a pitch, while Joseph Strange reached base twice on a pair of walks.
Senior Will Gee earned the win after scattering six hits over six innings and allowed just one run. The right-handed hurler fanned eight batters and did not issue a walk. Junior right-hander Christian Carpenter earned the save after tossing a perfect ninth inning in relief, while striking out two of the three batters he faced.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Adams led off the bottom of the first by pulling a double just inside the first-base line and crossed the plate two batters later when Carpenter hammered his home run beyond the fence in right-center to give AU a quick two-run lead.
The Tornado threatened by loading the bases with no outs in the top of the second frame, but Gee escaped with no damage after Jackson Strange snagged a line drive at shortstop and left-fielder Matthew Overton threw out a King runner attempting to score. Gee struck out the next batter to end the threat.
The Trojans padded their lead to 7-0 by batting around in the bottom of the fourth inning, with Jackson dealing the big hit with a one-out, bases-loaded triple to the warning track in straightaway center that brought home three runs.
King got on the scoreboard with a solo run in the top of the sixth and trimmed AU's advantage to just one by batting around and scoring five times in the top of the seventh inning.
AU added an insurance run in the bottom of the eighth when Odachowski led off with a walk. With pinch-runner Dalton Shaw in as a pinch-runner, Fasino drew a walk to get two on with no outs. Joseph Strange moved both runners up with a sacrifice bunt and Shaw crossed the plate on Jackson's single to shallow right.
Christian Carpenter came on in relief in the ninth and shut down the Tornado to earn the save.
• Trojan hurlers struck out 12 batters and issued just one walk.
• Four of AU's nine hits were for extra bases.
Anderson and King will wrap up the three-game set with a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. First-pitch is set for 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.