by: Devin Smith
Andrew Pierce and the No.24 Southern Miss Golden Eagles proved to be to much for the Trojans on Friday evening and handed Troy (6-3) a 12-4 home loss to open the three-game series at Riddle-Pace Field.
Pierce (3-0) threw 7.1 innings for the Golden Eagles (6-3), with 11 strike outs and held Troy scoreless until a Trae Santos RBI homer gave the Trojans their first points of the contests late in the sixth inning. Back-to-back RBI doubles by Danny Collins and Logan Pierce in the eighth acounted for Troy’s two other scores.
“He pitches well every time he comes out,” said Coach Bobby Pierce. “So you gotta keep that game in check, and that’s what we couldn’t do.”
Troy starting pitcher Will Starling struggled from the mound early, allowing three runs in each of the first two innings. During his four innings on the mound Starling (2-1) was responsible for nine hits and 10 runs by the Golden Eagles accompanied with nine errors and just five strike outs.
After the first two innings Starling seemed to be settling down, but four straight singles by Southern Miss to begin the fifth led to a six run inning that put the game out of reach for the Trojans.
“You’ve got to give credit to Southern Miss,” said Coach Pierce. “They haven’t been a very offensive team to this point in the season, but they certainly came out and banged a few balls tonight.”
Troy will meet the Golden Eagles again at 1 p.m. on Saturday with the hopes of evening the series before the finale on Sunday. Starting pitcher for the game on Saturday will be leftys Shane McCain (1-0) for the Trojans and Jake Drehoff (0-1) for Southern Miss.