WILSON, N.C. – Tyler Smith’s double into the left field corner in the top of the 10th inning scored Aarin Sharpe all the way from first base with the go-ahead run as Pfeiffer University downed Anderson University, 8-5, on day three of the 2010 Conference Carolinas Baseball Tournament. The win propelled the Falcons (27-25) into Sunday’s championship round against No. 1 seed Mount Olive College. The Trojans must defeat Pfeiffer twice in order to prevent the Falcons from claiming their first league crown since 2005.
Midway through the seventh inning, Pfeiffer appeared well on its way to a win. Falcons starter Nick Fogleman was enjoying a three-hit shutout, and his offense had provided him with a 5-0 cushion. However, Anderson (19-34) had proven resilient throughout the tournament, and it proved again so in the bottom of the seventh.
Singles by Erick Sanderson and Jonathan Romano and a Pfeiffer error set the table for Brett Scarberry, who doubled home two runs with a shot down the right field line. Fogleman was replaced by Luke Wilhelm, who was touched for a two-run double by Derek Hipp. Two batters later, a Falcon error allowed the game-tying run to score, erasing Fogleman’s strong night.
Neither team threatened in the eighth and ninth, but Sharpe’s single through the left side in the 10th off Anderson reliever Canler Cox (0-4) set the stage for Pfeiffer’s final push. Cox was relieved by B.J. Scarborough, who gave up the go-ahead double to Smith. The Trojans then walked the next two batters – one intentionally – to set up a possible double play, but instead Zack Pou lifted a fly ball to center that scored Smith on the sacrifice fly. Preston Lyon followed with an RBI single to left that gave the Falcons a third run in the inning.
From there, Wilhelm (6-3) limited Anderson to one base hit in finishing off the victory for Pfeiffer. Wilhelm went four innings, allowing three hits and one unearned run while striking out six.
Pfeiffer led from the very first inning, scoring in the top of the first on an Anderson error, a single by Lyon and a sacrifice fly by Will Davis. The Falcons increased their advantage to 2-0 in the second on a Smith single, a Hunter Boehme double, and an RBI single by Myles Pearl.
The score remained unchanged until the fifth inning, when Pfeiffer tacked on a pair of runs. Pou produced a one-out single, and Lyon followed with an RBI triple into the left field corner. Anderson starter Ben Roberts then issued three straight walks, the final one a free pass to Eric Shoemaker that forced in Lyon with the second run of the inning. Reliever Justin Rogers came in and forced a double play ball to avoid further damage, but Pfeiffer held a four-run lead at that point.
The Falcons increased that advantage to 5-0 with a run in the top of the seventh on a bases loaded hit batsman before Anderson made its late rally to tie.
Lyon had three hits and two RBI to pace Pfeiffer, with Smith adding a pair of hits. Sanderson had three hits for Anderson, with Romano and Scarberry contributing two hits each.