The Troy baseball team capitalized on four Auburn errors to pound the Tigers 11-2 on Tuesday, March 26, at home.
On a cold night at Riddle-Pace Field, the Trojans relied on solid pitching throughout the game along with opportunistic hitting at the expense of Auburn, who couldn’t get out of its own way defensively.
“I thought our pitching was really good,” Troy head coach Bobby Pierce said. “We played a pretty solid baseball game all around.”
Senior left-hander Ryan Sorce made his first start since 2011, and he pitched five innings of two runs, six hits and eight strikeouts for the Trojans.
“I didn’t know how fresh my arm would be coming out of the pen,” Sorce said. “The most I had thrown was two or three innings so I went a lot further than I thought I could.”
Coach Pierce had only positive things to say about his starter’s five inning effort against Auburn.
“Good start by Ryan Sorce,” Pierce said. “That’s the way you get a game going is have a good, quality start.”
When Sorce exited the game at the end of the top of the 5th the score was knotted 2-2 but in the bottom of the 5th Troy pounced on two Auburn errors along with a misjudged double.
When the Trojan carousel had finally stopped spinning, the score was suddenly 7-2 Troy.
“I think Auburn definitely struggled a little bit defensively,” Troy shortstop Tyler Vaughn said. “But that’s what’s going to happen when you consistently put the ball in play.”
Vaughn, second baseman Garrett Pitts, and designated hitter Matthew ‘Muggsy’ Howard all had two hit games against the reeling Tigers.
Howard even pitched a scoreless 9th inning for the Trojans.
But the pitcher who came in for Sorce in the top of the 6th and held Auburn to just two hits over three innings with six punch outs was the lefty Nate Hill.
“I thought Nate looked like Nate,” Pierce said. “Had a good breaking ball going and his changeup was OK but his slider was there, that’s his best pitch. When it’s in the bank he is going to get people out.”
The Troy offense would hang a four spot on the Tigers in the 8th inning to make it a decisive 11-2 Trojans.
“(Auburn) made a couple of errors that really really hurt them,” Pierce said. “The rest of it was pitching; they just kept Auburn from really getting in the ballgame.”
Troy (16-7) has won five of its last six games as the Trojans are set to play host to Middle Tennessee State this weekend with game one of the series scheduled for Friday, March, 29 at 6 p.m.