Trojans top Alabama State

Wesley Kirchharr

Staff Writer

The Troy baseball team hosted conference foe Georgia Southern over the weekend, dropping the series two games to one before beating Alabama State 6-4 on Tuesday.

Troy (17-14, 5-7 Sun Belt) fell short in Friday and Saturday’s matchups, allowing the Eagles to clinch the series. Troy retaliated in the final game to prevent the series sweep and pick up the victory.

In Friday’s action, the Eagles got off to a hot start in the first inning, driving home four runs. The quick scoring proved to be enough to take game one as Troy only allowed one more run the entire night.

Trevor Davis led Troy at the plate with his 2-3 performance, complete with two RBI’s and a homerun. Brandon Lockridge and Chase Smartt each chipped in a hit, allowing Troy to score in the fourth and seventh innings to come within reach.

After Georgia Southern drove in their fifth run, Troy only trailed 3-5, but after a scoreless eighth and ninth inning, Troy’s hopeful comeback was put to rest.

Daren Osby was charged with the loss on the mound after his six innings of work. Osby allowed five runs on six hits, all while striking out five.

Saturday’s matchup followed a similar story, as hits were at a premium. Troy kept pace with the Eagles to start the game, taking a 2-1 lead after the first inning. Georgia Southern’s consistent scoring proved too much to handle as the Eagles drove in a pair of runs in the third and the sixth to earn a 6-3 lead.

Davis found similar success at the plate, leading Troy with two doubles during his three trips to bat. Justin Friend had two RBI’s in Troy’s three-run effort, making 19 RBI’s on the year for Friend.

Austin Crook suffered his first loss after starting 8-0 as a Trojan. Three runs were scored on six hits during his 4.1 innings on the hill.

“Again, we had a chance to win at the end,” Troy Head Coach Mark Smartt said. “We just weren’t able to cash in on our opportunities. The win-loss line is very fine at this level and we’re just a little below that curve right now.”

The Trojans returned Sunday afternoon with a different mindset, with a duo of pitchers delivering a shutout to avoid the sweep. Andrew Crane picked up the much-needed win for Troy. Crane struck out a career-high seven batters during his 8.1 innings. After allowing only three hits, Crane paved the way for Marc Skinner to close out the ninth inning.

Along with Crane’s record outing, Skinner took the mound for the 98th time as a Trojan, leading the conference in saves. He is only four appearances away from tying Troy’s all-time record and fast-approaching the record for saves.

Matt Sanders and Lockridge each went 2-4 at the plate to lead the Trojans in their four-run effort. The Eagles were limited to just four hits during the game, each hit resulting in a single.

Troy scored five runs in three innings to top Alabama State in the first of two matchups this season, leaving Montgomery with a 6-4 win. The Trojans snapped a 10-game win streak for the Yellow Jackets with the victory.

Lockridge led Troy behind his 2-5 performance at the plate. Along with Lockridge, Smartt had two RBI’s to carry the Trojan offense.

Houston Mabray picked up the win on the mound for a host of Trojan pitchers that saw action. Mabray’s four innings only allowed one hit before Jimmy Robbins entered for relief. Skinner entered for the closer, shutting down any hopes of a ninth-inning rally.

“It was a really good ballgame,” Coach Smartt said. “Jimmy Robbins and Marc Skinner were lights out, and our offense battled their tails off. Our team just fights hard, we always have a chance to win and we pulled out a hard-fought one tonight.”

Troy takes the field once again in Atlanta this afternoon. The Panthers of Georgia State will host Troy for a three-game series starting at 5 p.m.

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