ANDERSON, S.C. – The Mars Hill baseball team split a doubleheader with Anderson on Saturday, March 18. The Lions took game one by the final of 12-5 before falling 9-3 in the nightcap. Mars Hill is now 14-14 overall and 4-5 in the conference, while the Trojans are 8-19 overall and 4-8 in the league.
GAME ONE: MHU 12, AU 5
Matt Honeycutt led the Lions at the plate after going 3-for-5 with five RBIs and a homerun. Hunter Merrill and Daniel Vitello added two hits each, while four different Lions scored two runs. Christian Stampler added two RBIs in the winning effort.
Tyler Miller was the offensive catalyst for Anderson in game one, tallying two hits and driving in two runs, while also scoring a run. Carson Barrett went 1-for-3 with a homerun.
Anderson took the early advantage after William Thomas singled to centerfield, plating the first run of the contest in the bottom of the first. The Lions came back in the top of the second with three runs with the big blow coming off the bat of Honeycutt as he blasted a three-run homerun to center field to give the Lions a 3-1 lead.
However, Anderson posted three runs of its own in the bottom half of the second. Miller contributed a two RBI single through the right side during the at-bat, while Thomas added a RBI groundout.
Nine runs over the next two innings from Mars Hill gave the Lions a commanding 12-5 lead. Stampler knocked in two runs in the top of the third followed by a RBI single to left field for Honeycutt. During the six-run fourth, the Lions benefited from four hits and wise base running to control the game from that point forward.
Jared Mathewson picked up his first win of the season, pitching five scoreless innings of relief for the Lions. Mathewson did not allow a hit during his outing. John McMicking (1-4) was tagged with the loss after throwing three innings and giving up eight runs on six hits and a pair of walks.
GAME TWO: MHU 3, AU 9
After a scoreless first inning for both teams, Anderson took control of the contest with a pair of runs in the second, third, and fourth innings. Stephen McKnight got the Trojans on the board in the second with a two-run homerun, while Carson Barrett and Dillon Carpenter added one RBI each in the third. Tyler Miller gave the Trojans their 6-0 lead with a two-RBI single in the fourth.
The Lions cut the lead in half during the top of the fifth inning. After a groundout to start the inning Devin Mangum connected on a solo shot to put the Lions on the board. With two outs Daniel Vitello doubled to right field and Brett Brubaker blasted a two-run poke to right field, cutting the deficit to 6-3.
However, Anderson came back in the bottom of the fifth with three runs to extend the lead back to six runs (9-3). Two walks, an error, and a wild pitch allowed the Trojans to regain control of the contest.
Mars Hill went quietly in the sixth and seventh innings, eventually dropping the second game of the doubleheader by the score of 9-3.
Brubaker finished 2-for-3 from the dish with the homerun and two RBI to lead the Lions. Avery Green and Dillon Carpenter each tallied two hits for the Trojans.
Alec Bivins (3-4) took the loss after firing 3.1 innings and allowing six runs on seven hits and striking out two. Chris Ayers (3-3) earned the win in game two, tossing five innings while giving up three runs on four hits to go along with five punch-outs and four walks.
Mars Hill will be back in action on Tuesday, March 21, stepping out of conference to play host to King (Tenn.). First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m.