/Trojans light up the Warhawks

Trojans light up the Warhawks

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Amy Austin

Staff Writer

 

After a rough start, the Trojan bats came alive as the baseball team took the series 2-1 from the University of Louisiana at Monroe during the weekend.

On Friday, March 21, Troy faced ULM to open the three-game home stand and lost 7-4.

Troy took the lead from the Warhawks 4-2, but in the top of the sixth, ULM would tie the game. Adding three more runs, the Warhawks would then take the lead and the game.

Junior outfielder Jo-El Bennett was two for five in the game. Senior second baseman Garrett Pitts had three walks and two hits.

The team as a whole had eight walks but only produced two RBIs.

“We took a 4-2 lead midway through that game,” said head coach Bobby Pierce. “They came back and scored four and took the lead. We really couldn’t answer that rally that they put together.”

On Saturday, March 22, game two came down to the final out of the ninth inning.

The Warhawks made an error and Pitts had his second walk off hit of the season as Troy defeated ULM 4-3.

Senior pitcher Shane McCain had his sixth quality start of the season pitching six innings with eight hits and six strikeouts.

Junior designated hitter David Hall finished the game 3-for-4 for the Trojans. Base running from junior outfielder Clay Holcomb produced the runs the Trojans needed.

The game came down to the wire in the ninth inning.

The bases were loaded and there were two outs as Pitts hit a ground ball towards second.

Freshman second baseman, Anthony Herrera, flipped the ball to sophomore shortstop, Kodie Tidwell, but the fumble allowed senior first baseman Matthew Howard to score at home. This gave Troy the 4-3 win.

“We battled and scratched and finally tied the score and won that game late in the ninth inning with some good at bats,” Pierce said. “We got a 4-3 needed win on Saturday.”

Championship Sunday, March 23, was the route for the Trojans as Troy defeated the Warhawks 19-3 in just seven innings after the mercy rule was called.

Troy set a new record by hitting nine doubles in a seven inning game. Troy had 11 extra base hits in the game.

This was the most since Troy defeated South Alabama 17-0 in 2010.

After scoring only one run in each of the first two innings, Troy’s bats exploded in the third as eight consecutive batters reached base, the most since 2010 at Kennesaw State.

Throughout the inning, there were three doubles, a single, and two players hit by a pitch before David Hall blasted a grand slam.

In the fourth, Troy plated seven more runs. Two doubles and a three-run homer gave Troy an even bigger lead.

Troy has hit 24 home runs in as many games. There have been seven multi-home run games, and the three players tied for the lead are David Hall, junior outfielder Trevin Hall, and Jo-El Bennett with five homers each.

“The bats finally broke out, something we have been waiting on for 20 plus games,” Pierce said. “Certainly glad to see our guys get relaxed in the box and do some things that we thought they were capable of all along.”

One player that stood out among the many was David Hall. Hall was nine for 14 over the weekend. He was also five for five on Sunday with a grand slam, two doubles, and six RBIs.

“Working to get your confidence to where it needs to be and to get back up there and keep swinging it like you know you can,” Hall said. “I was in a low place earlier in the season. Just kept working and getting back in there so my confidence is back.”

The win on Sunday, March 23 marked Bobby Pierce’s 200thconference win as Troy’s head coach.

“Five for five day with a grand slam is not very usual even when a hitter is in his best time, so very proud of him and his effort today,” Pierce said. “It was a good day for a lot of people, but certainly for Dave.”

Troy headed to Pensacola on Tuesday, March 25, to take on the University of Alabama. The Trojans lost to Alabama with a final score of 10-5.

During March 28-30 Troy will hit the road to Atlanta to take on Georgia State.