BELMONT, N.C. – The Anderson University baseball team dropped its road opener, 12-3, to Belmont Abbey in nonconference action, Tuesday afternoon at Abbey Yard.
Anderson (2-3) dropped its third straight decision, while Belmont Abbey improved to 6-2 with its fourth win in five outings.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Junior Jackson Strange was a perfect 3-for-3 on the afternoon, with two doubles and also drew a walk. Freshman Chandler Castleberry added a pair of hits, including a double, while driving in a run and scoring once. Senior Tyler Miller was 2-for-4, with a double and crossed the plate once.
Sophomore right-hander Austin Todd (0-2) got the start and absorbed the loss after surrendering four earned runs on six hits in four innings of work, while walking three and fanning three.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Crusaders threatened with back-to-back two-out walks in the bottom of the first inning that put senior Colin Rosenbaum in scoring position, but Todd induced the Belmont Abbey cleanup hitter into a fly out to Thomas in center field. AU countered by getting a pair of runners on base in the top of the second when Jackson Strange doubled to right field with two outs and catcher Joseph Strange was hit by a pitch, but the Trojans were unable to capitalize.
Belmont Abbey saw a pair of batters reach base with just one out in the second inning, but Todd escaped by retiring the next two batters on a fly ball and a strikeout, respectively.
The Crusaders had runners reach base again in the third frame when Rosenbaum was hit by a pitch with one out in bottom of the third and he moved into scoring position once again when senior Thomas Yoder followed with a single through the left side. Rosenbaum went to third on Josh Genthe's fielder's choice and both crossed the plate on Luke Cureton's two-out double to left-center.
Sophomore Matthew Overton drew a one-out walk in the fourth inning for the Trojans and Jackson Strange reached base for the second time on the afternoon with a walk, but the Black and Gold came away empty-handed. Belmont Abbey capitalized on four hits, including a pair of extra-base hits in the bottom of the fifth, to extend its lead to 6-0.
AU was limited to four hits over the first seven innings, but the Trojans' bats came alive and they avoided the shutout, while slicing the deficit in half with three runs in the eighth. William Thomas was hit by a pitch to lead off the frame and scored AU's first run on Miller's double down the right-field line. With one out, Castleberry doubled to the gap in right-center to bring Miller home from third and two batters later Jackson Strange notched AU's third double of the inning by ripping a shot to left field and scoring Castleberry.
Belmont Abbey countered with six runs in the bottom of the eighth to increase its lead to 12-3 and the Trojans went down in order in the ninth.
ANDERSON STAT OF THE GAME
The Trojans ripped four doubles, marking their most extra-base hits of the season.
• The two teams stranded a combined 17 runners.
• The two squads combined to send 13 hurlers to the mound.
• Tyler Miller extended his hitting streak to five games.
• Chandler Castleberry and Chase Stephens have reached base in all five games.
Anderson is scheduled to get back on the diamond, Wednesday when Southern Wesleyan will invade Memorial Stadium for a 3 p.m. first-pitch.