HARTSVILLE, S.C. – With both teams battling for a berth in the South Atlantic Conference Tournament later this month, the Anderson baseball team opened a crucial three-game league series by splitting a twin bill with Coker, winning the opener, 7-4, and dropping the nightcap, 4-3, Saturday afternoon.
Anderson (15-26, 5-15 SAC), which began the weekend in ninth place, two games behind the Cobras in battle for the eight-team conference tournament, dropped its first decision in three outings. Coker (15-23-1, 7-13 SAC) has won two of its last three decisions.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Anderson 7, Coker 4
Sophomore Will Lindsey reached base five times in six trips to the plate after notching a pair of singles and drawing three walks. He also scored twice. Junior Cody Adams added a single, a triple and walked once, while recording two RBI. Junior Matthew Overton was 2-for-3, with two singles and a pair of walks.
Senior Will Gee (3-6) earned the win after allowing four runs in 6 2/3 innings of work on the mound. The Blackville, S.C., native struck out five Cobras and walked just two batters. Sophomore Cameron Hall tossed 1 2/3 innings of relief and did not surrender a hit, while fanning one batter. Junior Christian Carpenter was credited with his 10th save of the season after closing the contest by holding the Cobras scoreless and allowing one hit and striking out the final two batters.
Coker 4, Anderson 3
Weisner posted two of the Trojans' three hits in the nightcap with a pair of singles, while Brandon Odachowski was 1-for-2, with a single.
Senior Christian Hendrix (2-1) took the loss after allowing one run on four hits in three innings of relief. He struck out three and walked one.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Trojans jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead by scoring solo runs in each of the first three innings, while Gee held the Cobra offense in check by scattering six hits over the first four innings. The right-handed hurler gave up three doubles through the opening four innings, but Coker was unable to capitalize.
Lindsey and Dillon Carpenter got it started for the Trojans with back-to-back one-out singles in the first inning. Two batters later, Lindsey crossed the plate with AU's first run on an error by the Cobra defense.
The Trojans increased their lead to two runs when Overton led off the second inning by pulling a single through the left side and stole second. Adams brought Overton home with a clutch two-out single to left-center.
AU built a three-run lead in the third by taking advantage of a pair of miscues by the Cobras, as Jackson Strange drew a two-out walk and went all the way to third by stealing second and moving up on an error by the Coker catcher. He scored on a wild pitch.
Coker threatened in the fifth by getting runners on second and third with one out, but Gee worked out of the jam by recording his fourth strikeout of the afternoon and inducing the next Cobra batter to fly out to Castleberry in right field.
The Trojans used a four-run sixth inning to break the game open and claim a 7-0 edge. Sophomore Trevor Weisner led off the frame with a single back up the middle, with Adams lacing his second triple of the season to the gap in right-center to boost the Black and Gold's lead to 4-0. Lindsey followed with his second walk of the contest to put runners on the corners and Carpenter's sacrifice fly gave the Trojans their second run of the inning. After Lindsey swiped second, Castleberry ripped a double to left-center and AU had a 6-0 advantage. Castleberry then scored on back-to-back wild pitches.
Coker avoided the shutout by countering with four runs of its' own in the bottom of the seventh, but was unable to get any closer.
Coker first baseman Larry McCabe's sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh inning plated Grant Thompson with the winning run, as the Cobras overcame an early deficit.
Odachowski led off the second inning with a single to left and Jackson Strange followed by getting hit by a pitch. Both runners later crossed the plate on Tyler Berry's sacrifice fly and Weisner's first single, respectively.
Coker countered with solo runs in the bottom of the second, third and fourth innings to take a 3-2 advantage, with AU knotting the score in the top of the fifth, when Weisner led off the frame with a single and later scored when Odachowski was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.
• Chandler Castleberry has reached base safely in 17 consecutive games.
• Dillon Carpenter has reached base safely in his last eight straight games.
• Including Sunday's game versus the Cobras, AU has four conference games remaining on its' slate and trails Coker and Lenoir-Rhyne – who are deadlocked in seventh place - by two games and is three games behind sixth-place Carson-Newman.
The Trojans and Cobras are scheduled to wrap up the three-game series on Sunday, with first-pitch scheduled for noon.