by: Caleb Odom
The Trojan baseball team powered their way past Southern Mississippi 8-3 in the third and final game of the series on Sunday, March 3.
Troy busted out the long ball in the bottom of the 6th inning to take the 2-1 lead from the Golden Eagles and did not look back as the Trojans scored at least two runs in each of the final three innings.
“It was just a good overall game for us,” Troy Coach Bobby Pierce said. “A game that we put a lot of emphasis on, a Sunday game. Pitched well, played well, got some big hits when we needed them and got a big win today.”
Like yesterday, Peyton Fuller and Danny Collins led the way for the Trojans at the plate.
The slugging second baseman had a 2 for 4 day with his first career home run coming in the 6th to give Troy all the runs it would need.
Collins also had a 2 for 4 day, swinging the bat and hitting his fourth home run of the season, a two-run bomb to dead center in the top of the 7th inning with no outs.
The storyline gravitates to the hit parade but what goes unnoticed was the quality pitching by right-handed starter Tanner Hicks who went six strong innings only allowing two runs and four hits while striking out six.
Going into the bottom of the 6th inning, the Trojans were trailing Southern Miss 2-1 but designated hitter Jake Harrell stepped into the box to leadoff and he liked the first pitch he saw so much he crushed it over the Black Monster in right center to tie the game up 2-2 with no outs.
“It was an answer inning and he just gave me a fastball first pitch and it was up,” Harrell said. “It was a mistake pitch and I just capitalized I guess. I wasn’t going to let that slip, I’ve been struggling a little lately.”
While the no longer struggling Harrell was celebrating with his teammates in the dugout, Josh McDorman’s walk set the stage for Peyton Fuller to add to his magical first weekend of play.
“I just tried to move Josh (McDorman) into scoring position and hit the ball hard and it ended up going out of the park,” Fuller said.
Troy was suddenly leading the Golden Eagles 4-2 with two big swings in the bottom of the 6th.
“It felt good right when I hit it,” Fuller said. “I didn’t think it was gone but I thought it was over the outfielder’s head so I was excited that it carried out.”
Southern Miss would answer in the top of the 7th inning with a sac fly off Troy lefty Nate Hill but Collins’ two-run blast in the bottom half of the 7th would shut the door on a Golden Eagle rally.
Troy tacked on two more runs in the bottom of the 8th inning thanks to a Southern Miss wild pitch and a costly throwing error making the score 8-3.
“It was huge,” Harrell said. “That was a pretty convincing loss Friday night and it was huge for us to come back and first of all tie the series up and continue on to win the series. Shows a lot of heart and a lot of fight and it has the making for a good team.”
The Trojans (8-3) next hit the road to face Samford on Tuesday, March 5 at 6 p.m.