Trojans take series win over Belmont, 2-1

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 29, 2002

Wade Miller’s RBI-single in the bottom of the eighth gave Troy State a 5-4 victory in the second game of a doubleheader sweep over Belmont to win their fourth consecutive Atlantic Sun Conference series, 2-1.

In the first game, Troy State rallied from a 2-1 deficit to win, 5-3. Brian Lipman started the comeback with a two-run home run in the bottom of the third inning. Chad Howard gave the Trojans the lead for good on an RBI triple in the fifth.

Troy State improves to 22-24 overall and 11-10 in A-Sun play, while Belmont falls to 20-21 and 8-15. As a result of Saturday’s sweep and Georgia State’s split with Samford, the Trojans move into sole possession of fifth place in the A-Sun standings with nine games remaining.

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With Belmont trailing 4-2 and one out in the ninth, Clay Peterson hit a two-run, pinch-hit home run over the left field wall to tie the game at 4-4.

After both teams failed to put together any serious scoring threats in the next two frames, Howard opened the bottom of the eighth with a single up the middle. Drew Miller followed with a single through the right side that advanced Howard to second. Lipman loaded the bases with no outs when he executed a bunt single that Belmont reliever Jonathan Decker chose to let the ball roll in anticipation of it going foul. The ball stopped a few inches in fair territory down the third base line to set up Wade Miller’s heroics. Miller went 3-for-4 with two RBIs in the game.

Troy State appeared to be on its way to a comfortable victory when it took the lead in the fourth on Coby Smith,s two-run home run. Smith went 4-for-6 with two RBIs and three runs scored in the two games.

Justin Morgan (1-1) earned the win in relief after throwing 1.2 innings of one-hit ball. Eric Wikstrom lasted 6.1 innings and struck out three as he received a no-decision. Cody Blackard suffered the loss for Belmont after being charged with five runs on 10 hits. He struck out a career-high seven batters.

Belmont opened the first game with a run in the first. Troy State countered with a run of its own in the bottom of the first before the Bruins gained a 2-1 lead in a wild pitch.

Justin Eason (6-5) won for the fifth time in his last six starts as he threw his fifth complete game of the season. He struck out four while scattering 10 hits. Alex Renes (3-7) also went the distance for the Bruins but was touched up for five runs on seven hits in the losing effort.

Troy State returns to action Tuesday when it travels to Montgomery to face the Auburn Tigers at Paterson Field. First pitch is set for 6:30 p.m.