ANDERSON, S.C. – The Anderson baseball team hammered four home runs, including three in the decisive fifth inning, as the Trojans moved closer to earning a berth in next week's South Atlantic Conference baseball tournament with a 12-8 win over Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
Anderson (21-25, 11-14 SAC), which is looking for its third straight series win over a conference opponent after taking two-of-three from Wingate and Mars Hill in successive weekends, has won nine of its last 12 decisions, including three of its last four. Newberry fell to 24-21 overall and 12-13 in league play with its second setback in three outings.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
Senior Tyler Miller was 4-for-5 on the night, with three singles and a double and drove in four runs. Fellow senior William Thomas added a single, a walk and a two-run triple and scored twice. Redshirt sophomore Joseph Strange was 2-for-4, with a single, a walk and a solo home run in the fifth inning. Sophomore Matthew Overton drilled a two-run homer and a single, while also reaching on a pair of walks. Junior Jackson Strange added a two-run home run in the fifth inning.
Junior right-hander Will Gee (4-6) survived a rough fourth inning to earn the win after allowing six runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings of work on the mound. He struck out four and walked three. Sophomore Christian Carpenter tossed 2 2/3 innings of relief and allowed two runs on three hits, while striking out five of the 13 batters he faced.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Trojans jumped on top early with three runs in the bottom of the first inning after Thomas and Miller led off with back-to-back singles and Overton belted a two-out, three-run homer - his 12th home run of the season – down the right-field line.
AU added three more runs in the second inning, which was highlighted by Thomas' two-run triple to right that plated Joseph Strange and Will Lindsey. But the Wolves batted around in the fourth inning and scored five times to climb within 6-5 before the Trojans countered with four runs of their own in the fifth inning to double up Newberry, at 10-5, after sending 10 batters to the plate. Carpenter led off the inning with his ninth homer of the year, with Jackson Strange clubbing his sixth of the season with Overton on base. Two batters later, Joseph Strange recorded his second homer of the season over the left-field fence.
Newberry responded with three runs in the seventh to again pull within 10-8, with AU setting the final score with a pair of runs in the bottom of the frame to set the final score.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
With the win, the Trojans have equaled the 2015 squad for the most wins in a season since the '09 team claimed 23 victories.
• The four home runs equaled a season-high for the Trojans.
• With the win and Mars Hill's loss at Lincoln Memorial, Anderson has taken sole possession of eighth place in the battle for a berth in next week's eight-team conference tournament. The Trojans are one game behind Lenoir-Rhyne and Newberry, which are tied for sixth place, and trail Lincoln Memorial and Tusculum by two games. Mars Hill is at Lincoln Memorial this weekend.
• The Trojans own the tiebreaker with Mars Hill after winning 2-of-3 with the Lions last weekend.
• The Trojans' last appearance in the postseason was during the 2015 campaign, when they defeated Brevard, then fell to Catawba and Wingate.
• The SAC Tournament is scheduled for April 26-30 at Smokies Stadium in Kodak, Tenn.
• Jackson Strange extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
• Tyler Miller stretched his hitting streak to nine games.
Anderson and Newberry will wrap up the three-game set with a Senior Day twin bill on Saturday afternoon. Seniors Andrew Dill, Tyler Miller, Matthew Reitz and William Thomas will be recognized at approximately 12:45 p.m., with first-pitch slated for 1 p.m.