Baseball swept at Riddle-Pace

Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

The Troy baseball team suffered a series sweep at Riddle-Pace Field last weekend in its opening Sun Belt Conference series against Arkansas State.

The series marks the first time the Trojans have been swept at home under Head Coach Mark Smartt. 

“All credit goes to those guys,” Smartt said. “They didn’t make a mistake; they played sound baseball all weekend. 

“But, we’ve got to focus on making ourselves better these next few days. I don’t really care if we’re playing the Yankees or the Red Sox this week, we’ve still got to figure out how to make ourselves a better baseball team.”

With the series loss, the Trojans fell to 9-11 on the season and 0-3 in Sun Belt Conference play. 

In the first game of the series, the Red Wolves jumped out to a six-run lead early from a two-run home run followed by four RBI’s.

The Trojans responded with a two-RBI double from Early Manning.  

The Red Wolves continued to stretch the lead out with another two-run home run and another RBI to make the lead 9-2 in the sixth inning. 

A seventh-inning RBI by Hunter Mercer narrowed the gap to six, but the offense couldn’t get anything else going as Arkansas State took the first game 9-3.

The second game saw a reversal of fortune which looked like the first game.

After two runs by the Red Wolves, The Trojans responded with two runs of their own, including a home run by Sadler Goodwin, his fourth of the season. 

Then the Trojans opened things up with a three-run homer by freshman Logan Cerny to give themselves a four-run lead in the third inning. 

The home run marked the second in Cerny’s first year at Troy. 

Arkansas State scored three runs in the fourth to narrow Troy’s lead to one run.

The Trojans held on to their 6-5 lead until the ninth inning. 

In the top of the ninth, Justin Felix tied the game for the Red Wolves with a RBI double.

Then, Arkansas State took its first lead since the third inning with a grand slam by Jacob Jablonski to give the Red Wolves a 10-6 lead.

The Trojans could not muster the offense to respond and dropped the second game of the series. 

The loss was the second time in three games the Trojans gave up a grand slam in the final inning after allowing an 11th-inning grand slam to Jacksonville State last week.

On St. Patrick’s Day, the Trojans struggled on defense in the final game of the series and couldn’t make up for it on offense.

The Red Wolves jumped out to a four-run lead early.

An RBI single by Chase Smartt put the Trojans on the board, and a two-run home run by Cole Prestegard brought the Trojans within one run. 

Prestegard had six home runs last season, and Sunday’s marked the first of the season.

The Red Wolves scored in five of the final six innings, but the Trojans could not keep up. 

Goodwin added a RBI in the seventh inning to bring his RBI total to 14 for the season.

A ninth-inning home run by Felix wrapped up the game and the series sweep for the Red Wolves, who move to 14-7 on the season.

Next, the Trojans take on Coastal Carolina in a three-game series in Conway, South Carolina. 

The Chanticleers are the two-time reigning Sun Belt Conference champions. 

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