Entering opening weekend, the Troy baseball team defeated Northern Kentucky over the past weekend and took 3 out of 4 games during the home stand.
“All in all a very good weekend,” said head coach Bobby Pierce. “Very happy to get 3 out of the 4 games.”
On Friday, Feb. 14, the Trojans shut out NKU, 7-0, with the help of senior pitcher Tanner Hicks and some strong hitters at the plate.
Hicks pitched seven innings for Troy. While there were three hits off him, Hicks had no earned runs and only one walk. Offensively, junior outfielder David Hall hit a solo homerun in the opening game on Friday night. Hall had 3 at-bats where he had 3 hits and 1 RBI.
Junior infielder Kyle Brown, junior outfielder Trevin Hall, and senior infielder Garrett Pitts each had two hits. Senior infielder Tyler Vaughn also had a single hit in the seventh.
“Friday started with Tanner Hicks who pitched really well for us, as he normally does,” Pierce said. “Seven to nothing win there was something you really like to open the season up.”
Troy split the double header with the Norse, taking a victory in game one, 6-2, but falling in game two, 6-5, on Saturday, Feb. 15.
Senior pitcher Shane McCain was on the mound for the Trojans in game one, and pitched 6 innings for the day. McCain allowed 5 hits, only 1 run, and had only 2 walks.
David Hall contributed offensively for the Trojans in both games on Saturday. He was 4-for-4, reaching base 13 times in the first three games of the series. Trevin Hall had solo homers in each game of the double header.
The Norse pitching put a stop to the Trojans on Saturday night. Game two was a back and forth game.
NKU took the lead in the first two innings, 3-0. Troy then came back in the fourth to tie things up, and then went ahead in the fifth with another run of their own.
Northern Kentucky came back in the sixth and seventh to score three more runs and put them back ahead. Troy scored a solo run in the eighth, but couldn’t tie it up.
“Saturday game one was Shane McCain, who again we expected to pitch really well and he did,” Pierce said. “So we got the game one win before stumbling a little bit in game two with plenty of opportunities at hand to come back and win that game.”
Championship Sunday fulfilled its name for the Trojans. The team defeated NKU 14-4. Junior outfielder Jo-El Bennett had 3 home runs throughout the day for the Trojans, a solo homer, a 2-run and a 3-run homer. Trevin Hall was 3-for-4 on Sunday. Brown had 3 RBI’s throughout the game, one on a 2-RBI double and the other after being walked.
“To come back on Championship Sunday for a lot of players first year doing that with us, so coming out and really with the right mentality,” Pierce said. “Got out of the gate pretty quick, continued to put pressure on them, scored a lot of runs like we like to do on Sunday.”
Bennett was named Louisville Slugger National Player of the week with a .600 batting average after the first weekend of play. David Hall was named the Sun Belt Conference Player of the week after being 7-for-9 over the weekend with a homerun, 4 RBI’s, a double and walked eight times.
The baseball team will be back in action this Friday, Feb. 21, with another home stand and four-game weekend. The game will start at 6 p.m. against Central Michigan.