KODAK, Tenn. – The seventh-seeded Anderson baseball team dropped an 8-2 decision to No. 5 seed Wingate and was eliminated from the 2019 Pilot/Flying J South Atlantic Conference Baseball Championship, Saturday afternoon.
Anderson won four of its last eight decisions, while seeing its season come to a close with a 20-31 record. Wingate (32-17) has won eight of its last 10 decisions and moves on to face the loser of the No. 2 seeded Lincoln Memorial/No. 3 seed Catawba matchup, which is scheduled for later Saturday night.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Junior Cody Adams notched two of the Trojans four hits on the afternoon, with a seventh-inning double and an eighth-inning single. Redshirt junior Joseph Strange added a single and reached on a walk, with Chandler Castleberry notching his ninth double of the season in the sixth inning. Sophomore Will O'Brien reached base twice on walks.
Senior right-hander John McMicking (1-7) held the Bulldogs to just three singles and a pair of runs through five innings, but was tagged with the loss after giving up the two runs in the top of the fifth. He fanned three batters and issued four walks through five full innings.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Trojans were entangled in yet another postseason pitcher's duel through four innings, with each team managing only one hit apiece through the first four frames and the two squads combined to get just four runners in scoring position during that timeframe.
Will Lindsey and O'Brien opened the home half of the first inning with consecutive walks, but the Trojans were unable to take advantage, while Wingate put together a mild threat in the top of the third, but was unable to capitalize on back-to-back two-out walks and left both runners stranded.
Joseph Strange led off the bottom of the third inning by beating out an infield single and moved to second when Lindsey bounced out to the Wingate first baseman, but the Greenville, S.C., native was left at second.
McMicking nearly worked out of a jam in the top of the fifth inning, when Wingate took advantage of a leadoff single, a sacrifice bunt, passed ball and a hit batter to get runners at second and third with just one out, but the Bulldogs loaded the bases with two outs and snapped the scoreless tie with a two-run single through the left side of the infield.
The Trojans managed to get the tying run at second with one out in the bottom of the sixth when O'Brien led off the bottom of the frame with a walk, and two batters later Castleberry laced a 2-2 pitch to right-center for a one-out double, but AU was unable to get on the scoreboard.
Wingate pushed out to a 4-0 advantage with a pair of runs in the top of the seventh, with the Trojans answering by scoring a run in the bottom of the inning. Adams led off with a double to the gap in left-center and crossed the plate when Trevor Weisner reached on an error by the Bulldogs.
AU cut the deficit in half when Dillon Carpenter was hit by a pitch while leading off the bottom of the eighth, moved to second on wild pitch and went to third when Castleberry bounced out. Brandon Odachowski notched an RBI on a groundout to the left side that brought home Carpenter.
But Wingate increased its' lead to six by adding four runs in the top of the ninth and the Trojans were unable to answer in their half of the inning.
• After winning three games in last year's SAC Championship, the Trojans are now 4-4 in the postseason event over the past two seasons.
• The Trojans are now 5-8 in four appearances in the SAC Championship.
• Will Lindsey wrapped up the season by reaching base in his final 12 consecutive games.
• Chandler Castleberry closed the season on a six-game hitting streak.
• Cody Adams stretched his hitting streak to seven games.
• Chandler Castleberry reached base in his final 23 straight games.