Troy uses seven-run inning to earn 13th straight home winPublished 9:05pm Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Troy reached the 30-win plateau with an 8-2 decision over in-state rival Samford at Riddle-Pace Field on Tuesday.
The Trojans (30-11) used quality relief work and a seven-run seventh inning extend their home-winning streak to 13 games.
“It was a much needed win, a nice win to keep our home-winning streak alive and that’s a big deal,” Troy head coach Bobby Pierce said. “I could tell the players wanted the win and wanted to keep the streak going, I just think situationally we weren’t that good tonight but it’s always good to come away with a win.”
Knotted 1-1, Troy sent 10 batters to the plate in the seventh and scored seven runs on just one hit. Ali Knowles walked to start things off, Brandon Brown reached on a throwing error on a sacrifice bunt attempt and Tyler Vaughn was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Logan Pierce ripped a 3-1 pitch into the right-center field gap to plate two runs and give the Trojans a 3-1 lead. Troy would use a wild pitch, throwing error and fielder’s choice to score five more runs.
Pierce would finish the game 2-for-3 to lead Troy at the plate.
Samford broke a scoreless tie in the top of the fifth with an RBI single from Austin Allison. Troy starter Joe Hernandez walked the inning’s leadoff batter, Tommy Corbin. Troy called on Thomas Austin from the bullpen and Samford’s Richard Greene promptly bunted Corbin to second base. Allison laced the first pitch he saw into center field to plate the game’s first run.
It appeared the Bulldogs would blow the game open in the sixth. C.K. Irby led off the inning against Austin with a single. The next batter, Christiaan Durdaller, doubled to give Samford a golden scoring opportunity with runners at second and third with on one out. After Austin was removed from the game with a blister on his throwing hand, Nate Hill entered the game and produced a ground out and strike out. Hill would intentionally walk Corbin before getting Greene to ground out to end the inning.
Hill would be put in a tight spot again in the seventh when a pair of errors placed runners at second and third with just one out. Hill got a line-out before intentionally walking Durdaller. Hill then struck out Caleb Bryson on three pitches to leave the bases loaded.
Hill (2-2) would earn the win on the mound for the Trojans pitching three innings. Hernandez pitched four innings allowing one run on two hits.
“Nate was just fantastic after we put him in there in a jam,” Pierce said. “We created another jam with a couple of errors in the seventh but I thought we did a good job of getting out of it and getting those runs on the board.”
Samford threatened in the top of the third inning when Greene led off the frame with a double off the right-center field wall. Troy caught a break one batter later, however, as a one-hopper off the bat of Stone was snared by Hernandez. Greene was cut down trying to return to third base for the second out. Hernandez got a fly out to end the threat.
With the victory, Troy, who defeated the Bulldogs 15-4 on April 10, sweeps the season series from Samford for the sixth time since 1994.
The Trojans will travel to Boca Raton, Fla., for a Sun Belt Conference series against Florida Atlantic beginning on Friday with a 5:30 p.m. CST start time.