ANDERSON, S.C. – Following a five-day layoff, the Anderson University baseball team will get back on the diamond with a pair of midweek contests, traveling to Belmont Abbey, Tuesday afternoon and returning to Memorial Stadium for a Wednesday afternoon game against Southern Wesleyan at 3 p.m.
First-pitch at Belmont Abbey is set for 5 p.m., while the Trojans and Warriors will square off at 3 p.m.
Admission to Trojan baseball games is $5 - students, faculty and staff, along with members of the Trojan Club are admitted free of charge.
WHO: Belmont Abbey Crusaders (5-2) at Anderson Trojans (2-2)
WHERE: Abbey Yard; Belmont, N.C.
WHEN: Tuesday, 5 p.m.
Live Stats: AUTROJANS.COM
WHO: Southern Wesleyan Warriors (5-2) at Anderson Trojans (2-2)
WHERE: Anderson Memorial Stadium
WHEN: Wednesday, 3 p.m.
Live Stats: AUTROJANS.COM
Anderson is an even 2-2 on the young season, with Tuesday's contest marking the Trojans' first road contest of the campaign.
Junior Will Gee was named the AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Baseball Pitcher of the Week after a masterful outing in his first appearance on the mound for the Trojans, as the right-hander's performance propelled AU to a 2-0 shutout over King on Feb. 3. Gee limited the Tornado to just three hits – all singles – in seven full innings of work, while allowing just one runner to reach scoring position. He struck out eight batters and walked just one.
Sophomore Matthew Overton leads the Trojan offense with a .444 batting average, while senior William Thomas enters the week with a .375 batting average and paces the squad with six hits so far. Freshman Chase Stephens is hitting .357 and has driven in three runs.
Gee and Christian Carpenter have each captured a win on the mound, with Matthew Stanley earning a save during the season-opening series with King. Austin Todd paces the pitching staff with nine strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings, while Gee is second on the squad with eight in his seven-inning stint.
LAST TIME OUT
North Greenville junior Connor Grant's two-out, two-run home run in the top of the eighth inning snapped a 5-5 deadlock and North Greenville held off Anderson, 7-6, in nonconference baseball action, last Tuesday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Overton was 2-for-4 on the afternoon and also reached base on a walk, while driving in two runs and crossing the plate once. Thomas notched a pair of singles and scored once, with freshman Chandler Castleberry getting hit by a pitch twice and scoring both times. Stephens drove in two runs with a fourth-inning double.
Junior Christian Hendrix (0-1) suffered the loss after surrendering two runs on one hit and fanning three batters, while walking one.
SCOUTING THE CRUSADERS
Belmont Abbey received four first-place votes and was tabbed to finish second in the Conference Carolinas' Preseason Coaches' Poll, just behind defending Conference Carolinas' Champion Mount Olive, after posting a 31-17 overall record last season, including a 19-8 mark in conference play.
The Abbey opened the season ranked seventh in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Southeast Region Preseason Poll, while senior outfielder Nick Beinlich was been named to the Preseason All-Southeast Region First-Team for the second time in his career. He is the reigning Conference Carolinas Player of the Year and also earned All-America honors.
The Crusaders (5-2) are coming off a 10-5 loss at Tusculum last Friday, but have won three of their last four outings.
THE SERIES vs. BELMONT ABBEY
The Trojans and Crusaders have met 40 times since the 1999 season, with the Crusaders holding a 29-11 advantage in the all-time series. The Crusaders have won 12 of the last 13 meetings, with Tuesday's matchup marking the first meeting since Belmont Abbey edged the Trojans, 10-9, during the 2013 campaign. AU's last win in the series was a 5-4 win at Memorial Stadium during the 2011 season.
SCOUTING THE WARRIORS
Southern Wesleyan was tabbed to finish eighth in the Conference Carolinas Preseason Coaches' Poll after posting a 15-34 overall record a year ago and finishing 10th with a 6-21 mark in conference play.
THE SERIES vs. SOUTHERN WESLEYAN
The Trojans and Warriors have met 50 times in school history, with AU leading the all-time series, 32-18. AU swept the two matchups last season after dropping six straight to the Warriors in 2015 and 2016. The first-ever meeting between the two programs occurred during the 1998 campaign.
AU will travel to Alabama-Huntsville for the first time in school history this weekend. The Trojans and Chargers will square off in a Saturday afternoon doubleheader, set for a 2 p.m. first-pitch and will wrap up the three-game series on Sunday afternoon.