Jaguars chalk up three

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 13, 2000

homers in 9-5 win over TSU

From Special Reports

TROY, Ala. ­ South Alabama collected 12 hits and blasted three home runs to break out of a season-long batting slump on Tuesday night as the Jaguars rallied past Troy State 9-5 at Riddle-Pace Field.

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Cameron Likely and Brian Groom each went deep for the first time this season for the Jaguars (12-23), who entered the game hitting just .225 as a team. Senior reliever Will Conway then slammed the door on a potential Troy State rally over the final two innings as South Alabama snapped a three-game losing skid to the Trojans.

Troy State (16-23) led 2-0 in the fourth inning on the strength of a Casey Smith RBI-single in the first inning and an RBI-groundout by Jonathan Smithers in the third. The Jaguars rallied for three runs in the top of the fourth, however, and never looked back. Junior lefthander Tim Davis (1-1) kept Troy State at bay from that point, recording nine strikeouts and allowing just four hits over five innings.

Troy State scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth on Derrel Kirkland’s two-run home run to slice the South Alabama lead to 6-5, but the Jaguars answered with three runs in the top of the ninth to effectively squelch the rally. Conway pitched the final inning and two thirds to record his first save, allowing just one hit while striking out four.

Josh Jerkins (1-2) suffered the loss for Troy State, allowing two earned runs and three hits in four innings.

Senior outfielder Marek Driver was 3-for-4 with an RBI for the Trojans.

Troy State returns to action at home this weekend against Trans America Athletic Conference for Samford at Riddle-Pace Field. Game time Friday is set for 6:30 p.m. with a Saturday doubleheader scheduled for 1 p.m.