Troy baseball splits the series against Central Michigan

Amy Austin

Staff Writer 

After two losses to open the four-game series, the Troy baseball team came back to split the home stand against Central Michigan 2-2.

The Trojans had a rough opening to the series as the team took a 4-1 loss from Central Michigan on Friday, Feb. 21.

Troy had only two hits in the game, one being a solo home run by senior infielder Matthew Howard, who scored the Trojans only run. The other hit was a double off the wall from senior second baseman Garrett Pitts.

Central Michigan scored 3 runs off senior pitcher Tanner Hicks in the fourth inning. Hicks pitched seven innings allowing 4 earned runs but also struck out six.

“I thought we played okay on Friday night,” said head coach Bobby Pierce. “Central Michigan pitched extremely well. Tanner pitched a pretty good game.”

Troy split the doubleheader with Central Michigan on Saturday, Feb. 22.

The Trojans were defeated by the Chippewas in game one on Saturday. Troy left 12 runners stranded on base, and took a 3-2 loss.

Senior pitcher Shane McCain started for the Trojans. McCain had three runs, only two earned and 10 strikeouts. Outfielder Jo-El Bennett and catcher Jake Harrell, both juniors, each had two hits in the game.

“Shane’s game on Saturday, I think he struck out like 13,” Pierce said. “I think we struck out about 16 or 17 of their guys in a loss. We haven’t seen that very often here so they got the first two wins.”

The Trojans took the second game from the Chippewas, 5-4.

Troy fell behind when Central Michigan took a 3-run lead in the fourth. Troy would then tie the game after Pitts hit a 3-run homer in the fifth. Trevin Hall then reached base on a throwing error, and scored on Bennett’s single.

In the eighth, the Chippewas tied the game on a passed ball, but Troy would limit Central Michigan to only one run.

In the bottom of the ninth, Pitts blasted a walk-off homer as he was the first batter to open the inning.

“It was a pretty good day,” Pitts said. “If I glory, I glory in the Cross. I’m excited to get the opportunity to compete.”

On Sunday, Feb. 23, Troy scored early and it paid off. Troy defeated Central Michigan 3-2 to close out the series.

In the bottom of the first, junior outfielder David Hall doubled and scored fellow junior outfielder Clay Holcomb. Howard singled later in the inning to score Hall and Bennett.

“We scored three in the first,” Pierce said. “I wasn’t really happy with how we lost our intensity after those three runs, but they did hold up due to the fact that we pitched really well.”

Sunday’s victory marked head coach Bobby Pierce’s 400thwin with Troy University. He is 34 wins away from tying the career record set by Chase Riddle, who had 434 victories.

The Trojans hit the road to face Florida A&M and won, 7-6, on Tuesday for their first road game of the season.  Troy will head to Southern Mississippi for a three-game weekend from Feb. 28 to March 2.

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