After an 0-3 start to the season, the Ravens got off the snide, picking up two victories this weekend at the Derby City Classic in Louisville, Ky. AU beat Spalding and UW-Platteville before dropping their third game of the weekend to Depauw.
“All in all it was a positive weekend of baseball for us taking two out of three,” said Anderson baseball coach Matt Bair in a press release. “You never like to lose the end cap to a great week, but I loved the fight we had after getting knocked down early. We continue to improve every game and our strength of schedule, as well as our attitude and work ethic, has a lot to do with it. This is a great group and I look forward to watching them grow.”
In Friday’s victory over Spalding, AU trailed 3-2 entering the ninth inning. Their bats exploded for eight runs in the inning, capped with a three-run double by Thomas Parker. Casey Howell closed the door in the bottom half of the inning, giving AU a 10-4 victory. Andrew Rolfsen threw 3.1 hitless innings, earning the win. Zach Lane started and threw five solid innings, allowing three runs on four hits, striking out eight. Parker had three hits, while Branton Sanders and Jonathan Willoughby each added two hits.
In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Joe Moran picked up the win, throwing three shutout innings, allowing one hit and fanning four. Seth Eldridge started, throwing two innings, allowing two runs on two hits and four walks.
Nick Butcher had two hits from the leadoff spot, driving in two runs. Austin Cain, Adam Paschal and Nick Jones all added two hits. Jones also threw a scoreless ninth inning. AU held Platteville’s late attempt at a rally, winning 9-5.
The Ravens jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the Depauw game, but trailed 14-3 after four innings. John Becker started for AU and gave up seven runs in two innings. The bullpen allowed 7 runs over the next two innings, leaving the Ravens facing an insurmountable deficit. Depauw won by a final score of 16-6.
Butcher added two more hits, raising his batting average to .320. He has hit safely in all six contests for the Ravens.
“It feels great to finish the weekend taking two of three,” said Butcher. “We finally started to relax and had success with situational hitting. Guys are starting to realize their potential and it’s showing.”
Now sitting at 2-4, the Ravens have two games this week against Olivet (results not available at time of print) before traveling to Florida for their Spring Break trip. AU will play 10 games in six days in the RussMatt Central Florida Invitational. Upon returning from Florida, AU will finally play at Don Brandon Field.
With so many opportunities for wins right around the corner and home games looming, the Ravens are looking to build off of their strong showing from this weekend.
“Our defense has been extremely solid,” said Butcher. We’ve been solid in every facet of the game, except for situational hitting, and that’s finally starting to turn around.
The biggest thing moving forward is just continuing to have confidence and have fun. When we’re playing loose and with confidence, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”