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Stephens’ homer lifts TSU to win

Al Stephens hit a three-run homer in seventh inning and Shawn Andrews struck out two batters in the ninth as Troy State defeated Florida A&M, 8-7, in a non-conference baseball game at Riddle-Pace Field Tuesday.

Troy State improved to 12-20 while Florida A&M dropped to 17-18.

Stephens, who entered the game as a defensive replacement in the top of the seventh, delivered a Josh Dean fastball over the left field fence to break a 5-5 tie. Wade and Drew Miller both scored on Stephens, blast after drawing back-to-back walks to open the inning.

Florida A&M managed to plate a pair in the ninth but its comeback bid fell a run short as Andrews recorded his first save of the season. He also moved into fifth place on the Troy State all-time save list as he notched his sixth career save.

Marcus Bell (3-6) picked up his first win since March 5, a 5-3 win at Florida A&M. He struck out a season-high eight in five innings of relief work. Levron Sarauw (2-3) was charged with the loss after allowing two runs in one inning of work. He walked three batters, including both Miller walks in the seventh.

Troy State opened the scoring with three runs in the first when Coby Smith and Lance Newman reached on a single and walk, respectively. Smith scored on a Brian Lipman sacrifice fly, while Newman scored on a passed ball. Drew Miller came in from third immediately following the passed ball when Rattler catcher Chris Batsch’s throw went into the Troy State dugout.

Florida A&M responded with a run in the second and two in the third to tie the game at three. Alcides Segui hit a solo home run in the second to give the Rattlers their first run of the game.

Troy State plated a run in the third and fifth, but Florida A&M came back with a run in the sixth and seventh to tie the game at five.

Troy State leftfielder Chad Howard hit his fifth home run of the season, a solo shot in the third. The Rattlers out-hit the Trojans 10-7, as seven different Troy State players recorded one hit.

Alcides Segui led the Rattlers as he went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Scott Holmes, Vince Palmer and Manuel Quinones each had two hits for FAMU.

Troy State will return to Atlantic Sun Conference play this weekend when it travels to Jacksonville, Ala., to face archrival Jacksonville State in a three-game series at Rudy Abbott Field.

Hunt named A-Sun pitcher of the week

MACON, Ga. – Troy State junior right-hander Aaron Hunt was named the Atlantic Sun Pitcher-of-the-Week by the league office on Tuesday afternoon after tossing TSU,s first complete game shutout in over two seasons as the Trojans blanked Mercer 1-0 Friday night in the A-Sun series-opener. The Trojans went on to win two of the three games and capture their first A-Sun series of the year.

Hunt, a native of Gainesville, Fla., struck out six batters and scattered five hits over nine innings of work to improve to 3-5 on the year. Hunt did not walk a batter, while throwing 93 pitches and recording 13 ground ball outs. Only seven Mercer batters reached base, with only one batter advancing as far as third.

Hunt lowered his ERA to 5.19 on the season and he leads the A-Sun with a 10-1 strikeout-to-walk ration (40 K/4 BB).

With the series win, the Trojans improved to 11-20 on the season and 3-9 in conference play. TSU hosted Florida A&M on Tuesday night at Riddle-Pace Field and will return to conference play this weekend when they travel to instate rival Jacksonville State for a three-game series.