Photo Courtesy: Harding Athletics (Jeff Montgomery)
SEARCY, Ark. (HARDING) - Harding junior James Anderson drove in the game-winning run with a pinch-hit single in the seventh to lift the Bisons to a 4-2 non-conference victory over Henderson State on Tuesday at Jerry Moore Field.
Harding (24-16) trailed 2-1 entering the bottom of the seventh as Henderson State (21-18) brought on little-used reliever Ryan Black. Making only his second appearance of the season, Black walked leadoff hitter Matt Calhoun, who was replaced by pinch-runner John Chapman. Erin McCarver also walked and both runners moved up on a wild pitch by reliever Matt Evans, who replaced Black.
After Victor Guerra made the first out of the inning on a fly out, Kyler Offenbacker hit a roller to Henderson State third baseman Carlos Rodriguez. Chapman broke from third base on contact, and Rodriguez threw wildly to home allowing Chapman to score the tying run. McCarver moved up to third and Offenbacker went to second on the throwing error.
Anderson, a native of Barrie, Ontario, pinch hit for Gabe Fyock and lined the first pitch he saw into left field to score McCarver with the eventual winning run. Offenbacker later scored an insurance run, coming home from third on a wild pitch.
Harding led 1-0 until the fourth when Henderson State scored twice on infield ground outs after Taylor Coleman led off the inning and Michael Corso doubled him to third. Both runs were credited to Harding starter Collin Campbell, who went four innings and struck out four.
Kyle Atkins scored Harding's first-inning run. He singled to lead off the inning and eventually scored on Jeremy Bohnett's infield ground out. Billy Ninemire had a hit in the inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games, tied for the longest by a Bison this season.
Harding used five pitchers in the game. Bronson Smith pitched two scoreless innings, the fifth and sixth. Tyler Stanford (2-1) pitched a scoreless seventh and earned the win. After Zac Stewart hurled a perfect eighth inning, Josh Spears closed it out for his third save.
Black (0-1) took the loss for Henderson State.
Harding will be back in Great American Conference action Friday at 3 p.m. in Searcy for the first of a three-game series against Ouachita Baptist. The teams will play a doubleheader Saturday at noon.