Baseball takes first Sun Belt series

Scott Shelton

Staff Writer

The Troy baseball team defeated Louisiana at Riddle-Pace Field last weekend for its first Sun Belt Conference series win of the season.

With the win, Troy moves to 13-14 overall and 3-6 in Sun Belt Conference play.

Late-game heroics pushed the Trojans over the top in the first game. 

After the game, Head Coach Mark Smartt spoke of the team’s fight at the end of the game.

“I’m really proud of these guys,” Smartt said. “They had to go through a lot of adversity in this game. 

“We were down 3-0 four batters in, and our starter comes out with a sore arm. To be down like that and come back to win, 5-4, it takes something really special and that’s what our guys brought tonight.”

Sophomore Levi Thomas uncharacteristically gave up three runs in the first inning before Taylor Pridgen came from the bullpen. 

The Trojans responded with four runs over the next three innings to take their first lead of the game.

Rigsby Mosley and Chase Smartt both posted a RBI, and in the fourth inning Dalton Sinquefield and Sadler Goodwin drove in runners as well.

Through nine Sun Belt games this season, Sinquefield has at least two hits in each of them for a total of 21 hits in that span. 

A Cajun run tied the game in the fifth inning, but solid pitching by Lance Johnson and the pitching rotation kept Louisiana at bay.

In the ninth inning, Smartt drove in his second run of the game on a walk-off sacrifice fly with one out on the board to win the game for the Trojans.

In game two of the series, the team jumped out to a six-run lead early from an explosive first two innings. 

Sinquefield, Goodwin, Logan Cerny and Manning Early tacked four runs on four singles.

Goodwin and Cerny scored again in the second inning to make the score 7-1.

The teams traded runs for the rest of the game; each time the Ragin’ Cajuns scored, the Trojans would re-extend their lead.

Hunter Mercer picked up his sixth RBI of the season in the fifth inning.

Drew Frederic sealed the deal in the seventh inning with a solo home run. 

Frederic now has five home runs this season and has hit at least one in the last two series against Sun Belt Conference opponents.

Louisiana responded with a home run of its own in the ninth inning, but the Trojans held and won 10-6 and clinched the series last Saturday.

In game three of the series, a pitcher’s duel took place as both teams’ offenses struggled to score.

Junior pitcher Grant Stewart allowed just four hits in six innings and posted his season-high of six strikeouts in his six innings pitched.

Troy struck first in the fifth inning with Early scoring on an unearned run.

Louisiana tied the game with a home run. 

Mosley added another RBI to his weekend, but the Cajuns homered again in the eighth inning. 

Cole Prestegard tied the game in the eighth inning with a solo home run — his third of the season and third in the month of March.

Louisiana hit a ninth-inning RBI double to go up 4-3, and the Trojans couldn’t respond, as the Rajin’ Cajuns avoid the series sweep.

Next, the Trojans go on the road to play Texas State in a weekend series on April 5, before returning home for a two-game home stand against UAB and Alabama State on Tuesday and Wednesday.

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