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Troy State baseball team tries to keep

rolling with big trip to the plains today

By STEVEN G. WATSON

Sports Editor

It won’t be the most important game either team plays this year, but when Troy State and Auburn meet at 3 p.m. today at Plainsman Park it might seem that way at the time.

The two Alabama clubs continue their series this year, one that Troy State has actually dominated over the years. Some might say that is surprising since Auburn is an SEC school, but TSU head coach John Mayotte doesn’t quite see it that way.

"I think it’s hard to classify it even as an upset sometimes, we’ve gone up there and beaten them when we’ve been the superior team," Mayotte said. "It’s been a great series there’s no doubt about that, but this is Division I-A college baseball, anything can happen on any given night. A well pitched game and a few clutch hits gives you a winning ball game, the formula doesn’t change."

The Trojans (7-5) will try and ride the wave of success they have had recently winning four of their last five games after starting the season 0-3 dropping an entire home series to Elon college.

Mayotte said he expected his club to have to pay their dues early on. This wasn’t a team that was going to go out and blow anybody away from the beginning. It was a club that would have to find itself in a hurry and so far the coach is pleased with the steps his players have taken in that direction.

"We’re very young and inexperienced and I thought we would get better as the year went along," Mayotte said. "We think we’ve played better and with more confidence lately, but I guess that goes hand in hand. The more we play the more we become relaxed and the more guys fit into their roles and understand their roles on the team.

"At the beginning of the spring I think everybody, most of all the coaches, were kind of feeling things out because I didn’t know who I could count on in what situation," he continued. "It was a learning period the first five or six games. I feel like now I’ve learned a lot about the team and we’re no longer experimenting. We’re at the growth and development stage now."

Most of all when the Trojans take the field against what could be seen as a rival team in Auburn (14-3), the coach will be looking for the game to be a good measuring stick for his club.

The Tigers are playing great baseball in a great baseball conference and there is little doubt that they will be looking to keep from dropping another loss at home to TSU. That should make things challenging for the Trojans.

"I think it helps you measure the progress of your team," the coach said. "You know Auburn is going to be a good team year in and year out. When you go play them and you play the type of game you feel you can play then it’s a pretty good measure of where you are and where you need to go. I know that some of the teams in our league will be that same calibre as Auburn so I feel that will be a good measure for conference play as well."