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Trojan baseball picks up first win

MONTGOMERY, Ala. ­ Senior first baseman Drew Miller went 3-for-5 with a career-high five RBIs to lead the Troy State baseball team past Alabama State, 12-6, at Paterson Field Tuesday.

Miller finished with two doubles, a walk, a run scored and 10 putouts as Troy State (1-3) picked up its first win of the season. Junior outfielder Chad Howard also went 3-for-5, scored three runs and stole three bases. As a team, the Trojans swiped a season-high six bases and improved to a perfect 11-for-11 on the season.

Troy State knocked out a season-high 14 hits but left 11 men on base for the second time this season.

The Trojans jumped out early for the third time in four games. Leadoff man Coby Smith singled, stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball. Chad Howard, who had walked, advanced to second. Both runners scored on Miller’s single to right field.

Senior Collin Holder pushed the lead to 3-0 in the fourth when he belted a solo home run over the right-center field fence. It was the first home run of the season for the Trojans.

Troy State put the game out of reach in the fifth when it scored six runs on six hits and three Hornet errors.

Alabama State (0-1) capitalized on two Trojan miscues and scored three runs on two hits in the bottom of the fifth. The Hornets appeared to be on their way to another big inning when Eric Duff led off the sixth with an infield single that forced Trojan starter Mal Winters from the game. Pat Hakey replaced Winters and forced Antonio Cogar to ground into a double play. One pitch later Spencer Kellam grounded out to the second-baseman Casey O’Quinn to end the inning.

Winters earned his first win of the season after working five-plus innings and allowing three unearned runs. He finished with four strikeouts and retired seven consecutive batters from the second to the fourth innings.

Doug Atkins took over for Hakey with two outs in the seventh and retired eight of the final 10 batters, including three strikeouts.

Alabama State starter Brian Nicholas was saddled with the loss after giving up two runs on three hits and walking two in three innings.

The Trojans will come home this weekend as they play host to Lipscomb in a three-game series at the recently renovated Riddle-Pace Field. First pitch for Friday’s game is set for 6:30 p.m.