The fifth-seeded Anderson University baseball team picked up two come-from-behind victories during the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) Tournament on Saturday at Kokomo Municipal Stadium in Kokomo.
Trailing second-seeded Transylvania University (24-19) by a score of 6-0 in the top of the sixth inning, Anderson (27-18) scored seven unanswered runs to secure a 7-6 win in 10 innings to eliminate Transylvania from the HCAC Tournament. Walker Stull (1-1) earned the win by throwing five perfect innings of relief and striking out seven. While facing top-seeded Franklin College (32-11), Anderson trailed Franklin 5-2 entering the ninth, but the Ravens scored four runs in the top of the ninth to lock up a 6-5 win.
ANDERSON 7, TRANSYLVANIA 6 (F/10)
Transylvania scored two runs in the top of the third inning. Bryce Dreher singled in Zach Forner while Austin Taylor scored on an error during the same play.
Dreher knocked in Forner in the fifth on a sacrifice fly.
In the top of the sixth, Trent Youngblood provided an RBI double. Calvin Schubert turned in an RBI single. Henry Mitcham drove in Youngblood on a sacrifice fly to give Transylvania a 6-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Justin Reed led off the inning with a single. Griffin Wolf singled on the next at bat, but Wolf and Reed advanced an extra base from a throwing error by the third baseman. With one out, Rene Casas Jr. reached on a throwing error by the shortstop. Casas Jr. drove in Reed while Wolf scored as a result of the error. Luke Renard singled in Casas Jr., but Renard was thrown out trying to stretch the play into a double. With two outs and the bases empty, Grahm Reedy singled and Connor Gordon and Charlie Jones drew consecutive walks to load the bases. Tyler Smitherman connected on a two-run single to cut the deficit to 6-5. Transylvania escaped the jam by striking out the next batter.
In the eighth, Reedy led of the inning with a single, but also advanced to second on a throwing error by the second baseman. Gordon moved Reedy to third on a sacrifice bunt and Jones singled in Reedy.
Trey Dorton led off the ninth with a single. With one out, Renard moved Dorton to second on a sacrifice bunt. The Pioneers retired the next batter to end the inning and enter extras.
Anderson capitalized on four Transylvania errors and scored five unearned runs.
In the 10th, Jones singled with one out. He advanced to second on a throwing error by the pitcher on a failed pickoff attempt. Smitherman drove in Jones on a walk-off RBI single.
Stull threw five perfect innings of relief in the win. Carter Knoblauch started for two innings. He struck out four batters, issued one walk and gave up zero runs on three hits. Evan Doan punched out a batter, yielded two walks and conceded six runs (five earned) on nine hits in three innings.
Jones finished the game 3-for-4 at the plate with two walks and two stolen bases. Smitherman went 3-for-6 with three RBI. Reedy went 2-for-5 with two runs while Wolf also finished 2-for-5. Renard, Dorton and Reed rounded out Anderson's 13 hits with singles.
Youngblood went 3-for-5 with an RBI double for the Pioneers. Dreher went 2-for-4 with two RBI. Mitcham went 2-for-5 while Schubert finished 2-for-5. Austin Taylor, Caleb Bowers and Braden Becker rounded out Transylvania's 12 hits with singles.
Josh Furtado (1-2) took the loss. He struck out three batters, yielded zero walks and allowed an unearned run on three hits in one and two-thirds innings. Gabe Dillard fanned two batters, issued one walk and gave up an unearned run on three hits in one and two-thirds innings. Jacob Moberly punched out three batters, conceded six walks and surrendered five runs (two earned) on seven hits in six innings.
ANDERSON 6, FRANKLIN 5
Sean Sullivan smashed a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning to give Franklin a 2-0 lead.
In the fifth, Gordon singled in a run. Gordon stole third later in the inning and then immediately scored as the result of a throwing error by the catcher to tie the game at 2-2.
During the sixth, Jonathan LaGuire-Cruz reached on a fielder's choice. On the same play, Tysen Lipscomb scored on an error.
During the eighth, LaGuire-Cruz singled in Sean Thomas. In the same inning, Dyllan Redmon drove in Noah Wood on a sacrifice bunt to give Franklin a 5-2 lead.
In the top of the ninth, Renard struck out, but reached first on a wild pitch to lead off the inning. Reedy singled Renard to third on the next at bat. With one out, Jones and Smitherman connected on consecutive RBI singles to make the score 5-4. Jones stole third base to put runners on the corners. As Franklin attempted to turn a double play and end the inning, the shortstop threw the ball into right field as he was attempting to record the out at second. Jones tied the game at 5-5 while Smitherman advanced to third and Reed advanced to second. Jed Downham walked to load the bases. Dorton drew a bases-loaded walk to give Anderson a 6-5 lead. Franklin recorded two outs to end the inning.
Luke Willman was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Colby Reed advanced pinch runner Adam Taylor to second on a sacrifice bunt. Sullivan drew a two-out walk, but Cole Whitlock fanned Lipscomb to lock up the win.
Dorton went 2-for-3 with a double for the Ravens. Reedy finished 2-for-4 with two runs and a double. Gordon went 2-for-4 with a double. Jones, Smitherman and Wolf rounded out Anderson's nine hits with singles.
Lipscomb went 3-for-5 with two doubles for the Grizzlies. LaGuire-Cruz went 2-for-3 while A.J. Sanders finished 2-for-5. Sullivan cranked a two-run homer. Matt Earley and Redman rounded out Franklin's 10 hits with singles.
Whitlock (1-1) recorded the win. He struck out a batter, issued a walk and gave up zero runs on zero hits in one and one-third innings. Logan Nickel punched out four batters, yielded three walks and allowed five runs (four earned) on 10 hits in seven and two-thirds innings.
Maddox Manes (7-1) was hit with the loss. He struck out two batters, conceded two walks and surrendered four runs (three earned) on three hits in one inning. LaGuire-Cruz fanned four batters, issued three walks and allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits in five innings. Will Butts struck out three batters, yielded zero walks and gave up two hits in two scoreless innings. Sam Peck conceded a walk and allowed one hit in one scoreless inning.
Anderson and Franklin face off in a winner-take-all matchup for the HCAC Tournament title on Sunday at 12 p.m. at Kokomo Municipal Stadium in Kokomo.