Déjà vu All Over Again – Trojans Open SAC Tournament with Impressive Win in First Round

Déjà vu All Over Again – Trojans Open SAC Tournament with Impressive Win in First Round

KODAK, Tenn. – Behind strong efforts on the mound and a robust offense, the seventh-seeded Anderson baseball team pulled off an upset by knocking off sixth-seeded Carson-Newman, 9-4, in the opening round of the 2019 Pilot/Flying J South Atlantic Conference Baseball Championship, Thursday night at Smokies Stadium.

Anderson (20-29) jumped out to an early lead and made it hold up, while winning four of its last five decisions and advances to meet top-seeded Newberry, Friday at noon. With the win, the Trojans snapped a six-game skid at hands of Carson-Newman.

Carson-Newman (31-18), which entered the postseason as one of the hottest teams in the conference, had its' win streak halted at nine games.

Redshirt junior Dillon Carpenter was 3-for-3 at the plate and reached base in all six trips to the plate. The Charlotte, N.C., native posted a three-run double, two singles, a pair of walks (one intentional) and was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning. He finished the night with three RBI and three runs scored. Left fielder Matthew Overton added a single, a solo home run and also drove in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the eighth. Senior Brandon Odachowski was 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and a walk, with senior Jackson Strange notching two singles and three RBI.

Sophomore second baseman Will Lindsey posted a pair of singles and scored two runs in five at-bats, while Chandler Castleberry reached on a single, a walk and was hit by a pitch. Redshirt junior Joseph Strange also reached on a single and a walk.

Senior Will Gee (5-6) captured the win after allowing just three runs, while scattering nine hits over six full innings. He fanned four batters and walked just one. Senior reliever Christian Hendrix tossed 1 1/3 innings of relief and gave up one run on four hits. Freshman right-hander Lucas Smith worked the final 1 2/3 innings and did not surrender a hit or walk a better, while recording three punchouts.

The Trojans jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with a run in the top of the first inning and added two more in the top half of the third, while Gee held Carson-Newman scoreless through the first four innings and limited the Eagles to just three singles through four frames.

AU built a 6-0 advantage by sending seven batters to the plate in the top of the fourth, with Carpenter's one-out, three-run double providing the damage.

Carson-Newman used back-to-back, two-out doubles in the bottom of the fifth to trim AU's lead to 6-3, but Overton's third homer of the season – a shot over the left-field wall – rebuilt the Trojan advantage to four runs.

The Trojans sent eight batters to the plate and added two more runs in the eighth, with C-N notching a run with one out in the bottom of the eighth to round out the scoring.

• As the eighth seed in last year's SAC Tournament, AU trounced Lenoir-Rhyne, 16-2, in the opening contest.
• After winning three games in last year's SAC Championship, the Trojans are now 4-2 in the postseason event over the past two seasons.
• The Trojans are 5-6 overall in four appearances in the SAC Championship.
Will Lindsey extended his hitting streak to six games.
Trevor Weisner, Dillon Carpenter and Cody Adams all stretched their hitting streaks to five games.
Chandler Castleberry has reached base safely in his last 21 games.
• AU has averaged nearly 11 hits and eight runs per game over their last eight outings.
• Trojan pitchers have allowed fewer than six runs per game over the last 11 contests.
• AU hurlers have averaged just 2.1 walks per game over the last 11 contests.
• Carson-Newman used eight pitchers on the night, including five hurlers in the eighth inning.

The Trojans advance to meet eighth-ranked and top-seeded Newberry, Friday at noon, with the double-elimination portion of the championship being played Friday – Monday.

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