Troy baseball takes Hofstra series 3-1

Senior T.J. Binder went 1-3 at the plate in game four of the Trojans’ series against Hofstra, scoring two runs and recording four RBIs. Binder’s performance helped Troy on its way to a 16-run performance at home.

Wesley Kirchharr

Staff Writer

The Troy baseball team picked up three wins in a four-game series against Hofstra at Riddle-Pace Field during the weekend.

Troy (9-6, 0-0 Sun Belt) picked up a 4-0 victory in the series opener, but fell short in game two as Hofstra evened the series with a 5-9 victory. The Trojans cruised through the final two games, however, picking up the second series victory of the year heading into the first conference series of the season Friday afternoon.

Trojan pitching highlighted the series opener as junior Daren Osby retired six batters while picking up the win and a shutout.

The matchup was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth inning when Brandon Lockridge drove in the first run of the game, kick starting the Trojan offense. Troy tacked on two more runs in the seventh behind the bats of Steven Whitaker and Trevor Davis. Davis went 2-for-2 at the plate and is rolling on quite a hot streak. Davis picked up a double and drove in a run to pick up his ninth hit in his last 12 at bats.

Leading 3-0 Troy put Hofstra away in the bottom of the eighth behind an RBI single from Justin Friend. Troy stomped any hopes of a ninth inning rally to pick up the first shutout of the year, a 4-0 victory.

Hofstra escaped the front half of Saturday’s doubleheader with a 9-5 victory, tying the most runs allowed in a game this season by the Trojans.

Troy held a slim 1-0 after the first inning until Hofstra began to find rhythm at the plate during the top of the third. The Pride were able to tack on three runs to take a 3-1 lead.

After a single run in the fifth inning for the Pride, Troy exploded in the sixth inning to knot the score at 5-5.

Davis highlighted the Trojan offense with his 3-for-4 performance at the plate to spark the comeback.

Hofstra saw a similar offensive spur in the top of the ninth when it tacked on four runs to break the tie and take a 9-4 lead. The Trojans were unable to keep pace with the Hofstra rally and the score stood 9-4 after game two.

Cory Gill was charged with the loss on the mound.

Troy bounced back in the nightcap of the doubleheader following the loss earlier that day. The Trojans came out of the gates and took the lead almost immediately behind a two-run blast from Lockridge. Lockridge went 2-for-3 at the plate and drove in three runs to pace the Trojan offense.

Following Lockridge’s solid play was Friend’s pitching. Friend pitched in two RBI’s of his own and was one of the eight Trojan batters who had a base hit.

Troy tacked on a pair of runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to put the game on ice. Friend drove Davis and Matt Sanders back home on a double to continue to build on the five-run advantage.

A risky base running call from Head Coach Mark Smartt paid off and brought in two more runs for the Trojans after a double steal was executed in the bottom of the seventh. Whitaker and Drew Frederic worked the double steal to perfection and later scored on a bad throw and a wild pitch.

Hofstra scored its only run in the top of the eighth inning as Troy ran away with game three, 7-1.

Austin Crook struck out five batters for the Trojans in his seven innings on the hill and picked up his second win of the year.

Leading the series 2-1, the Trojans had the chance to allow a tie or win the series outright. Troy took full advantage of the situation at hand, scoring a season-high 16 runs en route to a 16-7 blowout.

Troy had an offensive showcase at the plate as every starter scored for the first time since 2013.

Corey Childress picked up the win on the mound after he sent 14 consecutive batters back to the dugout.

A 3-3 outing at the plate by Chase Smartt led Troy with two doubles and three scores. Friend and T.J. Binder followed with strong play of their own, scoring a combined seven runs.

The Pride put up six runs in the top of the fourth after allowing eight runs in the third, but were unable to keep the pace as Troy ran away with the win. After a six-run showing in the seventh inning, the score stood at 16-7 until the end.

Troy kicks off its first conference matchup of the year on Friday with a trip to Little Rock, Arkansas. The Little Rock Trojans will host the three-game series with game one beginning at 6 p.m.

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