By: Caleb Odom
Winning came at a price for the Troy baseball team as it blew out Alabama A&M 13-1 on Tuesday, April 16, but lost pitcher Will Starling in the process.
The right-hander Starling departed from the game having pitched just 2 2/3 innings allowing one run and two hits, while striking out three with just one walk.
As Troy head coach Bobby Pierce walked out to mound to find out what was wrong with Starling, the pitcher was feeling of his right elbow.
For anyone close to the game of baseball, a pitcher with a sore elbow is bad news because they might have to undergo the dreaded Tommy John surgery to repair the elbow.
“He is going to have to be checked out,” Pierce said. “He did feel a pop in his elbow and you know what that normally means. I don’t want to speculate on anything at this particular time but we’ll MRI it as quick as possible, get the doctors read on where is at and go from there.”
If Starling does need to have Tommy John surgery, he will most likely be lost for a full year rehabbing his elbow.
“He was obviously in some pain in the elbow area,” Pierce said. “It could be a strain; it could be more, we don’t know at this particular time but just our thoughts and prayers are with him right now.”
When Starling left in the top of the 3rd inning with two outs, the Trojans already had a healthy 5-1 lead on the Bulldogs thanks to the long ball.
“We just did a good job staying within ourselves,” third baseman Logan Pierce said. “When you are facing mediocre to below average pitching, it’s sometimes a little bit difficult to stay within yourself and get good swings off.”
Five Trojans had multi-hit games against Alabama A&M, who had no answer for Troy’s mighty swings in the early innings and late innings.
Pierce starred the first inning pounding with a solo home run to right center.
Matthew ‘Muggsy’ Howard would drive in Collins, who singled earlier in the inning to make it 2-0 Troy.
Things got interesting when Josh McDorman launched a ball deep to left center for a 3-run homer to make the score 5-0 Trojans.
But that was the 1st inning and Starling had just left the game that was suddenly 5-1 Troy with the Bulldogs not giving up.
Enter William Teal.
Teal, along with bullpen arms Thomas Austin, Robert Price and Jeremy McGowan, threw up zeros for the rest of the game, holding Alabama A&M to just five hits over 6 1/3 innings.
“Throwing strikes was my main thing. I was able to do that,” Teal said. “The coaches gave me a chance, and I was able to go out there and execute.”
Teal gave Troy 2 1/3 innings of scoreless work while fanning three and walking none.
The Trojan offense would score another run in the bottom of the 3rd inning when first baseman Trae Santos lifted a ball high over the “Black Monster” for a solo home run to make it 6-1 Troy.
The game got ugly for the Bulldogs in the bottom of the 8th inning when the Trojans would score five more runs to make the score a lopsided 13-1 that would be the final score.
Troy next plays host to Sun Belt foe Arkansas Little Rock this coming weekend starting on Friday, April 19, at 6 p.m.