John Anderson’s weekend included four home runs, two doubles and 13 RBIs. In one game, the Samford junior hit a pair of grand slams and drove in nine runs during the first of two wins in a three-game series at VMI. In another, he had the game-winning two-run home run in the 11th inning.
Needless to say, the Southern Conference trip to VMI was a memorable one for the 5-foot-10, 182-pound Georgia Tech transfer, who had at least one home run in all three games.
It made it even nicer that the series win kept Samford tied for the Southern Conference lead, alongside Mercer, with two series left in the regular season. It also capped a week for Anderson, including a two-run home run in a midweek loss at Alabama. Put the four games together, and Anderson was 8 of 18 with five home runs, two doubles and 15 RBIs. He was rewarded as one of Collegiate Baseball’s National Players of the Week and the SoCon Player of the Week.
All in all, a good week and an incredible weekend.
“After my last home run, in the second game on Saturday, I was talking to one of my good buddies, our right fielder Josh Rodriguez, that it felt like a dream,” Anderson said. “You work for these kind of weekends. You just work so hard to have successful weekends. When it happens, it’s just a Cloud Nine feeling.”
Anderson ended the weekend with a SoCon-best 16 home runs on the season and 49 RBIs, tied for second in the conference. He’s hitting .306, is fourth in the SoCon with a slugging percentage of .701 and is fourth on the team with 48 hits.
Not a bad first year thus far at Samford.
Anderson spent his first two college years at Georgia Tech. He played in 42 games over two seasons with a batting average of .225 and five home runs.
“I had a pretty good track record there,” Anderson said. “I had about 100 at-bats in two years. It was just one of those decisions that I felt was right. I thought Georgia Tech wasn’t necessarily the place I needed to be.”
After a couple of weeks in the portal, he received a recruiting call from Samford head coach Tony David. Anderson was familiar with the program because some high school and travel teammates played for the Bulldogs in the past. He was officially sold on the program during his recruiting visit.
Now, he’s doing big things in his first season. Anderson was known for his home runs at Grayson High in Georgia. He set a school record with 14 home runs as a senior. But he didn’t expect to hit them with the regularity he’s done in his first season at Samford. He is currently tied for seventh on the program’s list of single-season home runs. With 12 regular season games remaining, he is six home runs away from tying Brandon Miller’s school record of 23 set during the SoCon Tournament championship season in 2012.
Anderson deflects a lot of the reason for his success to his teammates.
“It’s nice when the whole lineup is hitting the way we’re hitting right now,” Anderson said. “Everybody is getting their opportunity, and everybody is making it count, which is a huge part of our success.”
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