ANDERSON, SC—Thunder and lightning early on the morning of Good Friday pushed back a noon start for the Anderson University baseball team’s 3-game series with Coker College, but the Trojans kept the storm alive as they put on a first-inning hitting clinic, posting 6 hits and leaving none on base en route to a 10-run frame and an eventual 20-4 win over the visiting Cobras.
Second baseman Ryan Saxon continued his dominance at the plate Friday afternoon as he added to a 5-5, 2-homerun performance from Wednesday; Saxon went 4-5 with 5 RBI and 2 runs, adding one more homerun to his season total. Senior Blair Carson did the same, as the first baseman hit two deep shots, running his AU career total to 32. On the day Carson went 3-6 with 3 runs and 5 RBI.
“We’ve started seeing the fastball, hitting the fastball, and just adjusting better with two strikes,” said Saxon. “I think we’ll pull off a lot of wins [playing this way] in the conference tournament.”
The Trojans’ confidence and swagger went well beyond their first-inning dominance; Brady Peele was throwing darts from the bump for AU. Peele went 7 innings on just one earned run with 4 K’s and only 2 walks. There was no shortage of defense behind the Trojan hurler, as Derek Hipp chased down multiple line-shots to center, and BJ Smith muddied himself in the top of the fifth, stretching for a flair-shot to left and making the grab while fully extended. The Trojans had just one error on the day.
In the midst of a 3-game winning streak, the team knows that they have been here before.
“They have done a tremendous job,” said Trojan assistant coach Jason Rutland. “Even when we get up they’ve continued to swing the bats and that’s what it’s going to take to make a successful run through the conference tournament and to get to regionals.”
There were also some other Trojans with stellar offensive days. Catcher Trent Still was 2-4 with a run and 2 RBI; Derek Hipp got involved in the offense too, as he was 4-6 with 4 runs and 4 RBI. And shortstop Thomas Padro went 2-4 with a run and an RBI.
For Coker, Jessie Crockett was 2-4 with a home run, two RBIs and two runs scored, while Brinley Griffin and Trey Lynch were each 1-4 with Lynch driving in a run and Nate Donovan was 1-1 with a run scored.
AU has posted 36 runs over the last three games on 44 hits. There is no question that the Trojans can hit the ball; there is equally no question that any numbers of the teams’ starters are able to take the mound and provide solid pitching. AU will try to continue the recent trend tomorrow as they finish up the weekend series with a doubleheader that will begin at noon at Memorial Stadium. Both games will be 7-inning affairs.