Trojans use late insurance
Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 15, 2000
runs to hold off Rattlers
By STEVEN G. WATSON
The TSU Diamond Trojans (9-14) learned that no lead should be taken for granted as they downed the Florida A&M Rattlers 9-3 at Riddle-Pace Field Tuesday.
While Troy State was up by what seemed to be a comfortable 5-1 lead going into the bottom of the eighth, the Trojans went on a nice little tear sending eight men to the plate and scoring four off five-straight singles.
Those insurance runs were more than enough as it turned out, but with no outs and two men on, FAMU was only a long ball away from making it a ball game again after scoring two runs off a single and three Trojan errors.
Relief pitcher Kyle Goodson settled down, however, and left the two men stranded on a strikeout, a fly to center and a fantastic diving catch by right fielder Jonathan Smithers to end the contest.
The Trojans took advantage of numerous two-out at bats to notch their first five runs of the game. Senior Derrel Kirkland got things started with a two-run blast to right then was followed immediately by Smithers who sent one a country mile the same direction for the inning’s third run.
TSU added one in both the third and the fourth innings on another single by Kirkland and one by Brandon Holmes respectively. The one other Rattler run was scored in the top of the third on a hard shot that got past third with the bases loaded, but the Trojans second baseman Justin Cox helped turn a double play to end the inning and the FAMU threat on the next play.
Both Holmes and Kirkland went 3-for-4 on the day with Kirkland leading the way with three RBI’s. Smithers was 2-for-4 while Casey Smith, Foy Shemwell and Marek Driver all had hits in the game.
Mickey O’Quinn (1-0) got the win on the mound for the Trojans in four innings pitched while Shawn Andrews and Goodson both spent time in relief. Andrews faced the minimum of only nine batters in his three innings of work striking out five of them and gunning down the side in order three straight times.
Next up for the Trojans is a Trans American Athletic Conference road trip to Stetson this weekend. They will play their first game against the Hatters at 6 p.m. on Friday and will follow up with a doubleheader Saturday with the first game starting at noon.