Trojans miss sweep of LeMoyne Sunday afternoon

Published 7:57 pm Monday, March 16, 2009

After waiting out morning rains, the Troy University pitching staff never seemed to get into a groove on Sunday as LeMoyne took the last game of a weekend series 12-9.

With the loss, Troy falls to 11-6 on the year while the Dolphins improve to 3-10, snapping a seven-game losing streak.

“I was glad that we were able to get this game in today, but I sure would have liked to have won it to get the sweep,” Trojans coach Bobby Pierce said. “We didn’t pitch very well today until Chris Sorce came in late.

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“We thought that all three of the first guys we put out there would do well, but none of them had their best stuff. We also made a couple of defensive miscues, making poor decisions on plays, that you can’t have.”

The game was a see-saw affair from the start. LeMoyne jumped out to a 3-0 lead off Troy starter Tim Wheeler, including a two-run homer by Chris Edmondson in the first, but the Trojans came back to tie it with three runs of its own in the second and third innings, highlighted by a two-run shot from Blake Martz.

The Dolphins went back on top with a pair of runs in the fourth inning, but Troy again answered, scoring one in the fourth and two more in the fifth on a two-run homer by Ryan Ditthardt to take a 6-5 lead.

That advantage was short-lived as LeMoyne scored four times in the sixth off reliever Jeff Green. Ryan Mahoney led off the inning with a homer, but that was the only ball the Dolphins hit out of the infield in the inning.

Troy answered again in the bottom of the sixth, scoring three times to knot the score at 9-9. Michael Precise had a two-run double and scored on a Ditthardt single off Derek Zielinski (1-1) to tie the score.

Zielinski faced just three batters, allowing a hit and a walk, before getting Daryl Otwell to fly out to end the inning.

Sophomore Drew Hull (1-1) came on to pitch for Troy in the seventh and struggled. Of the three runs he surrendered, only two were earned, but the error that opened the door was his on a fielder’s choice.

Troy had three hits, including a pair of doubles, off relievers Al Ondrako and Tom McDermott over the final three innings, but left all three runners on base. McDermott worked a perfect ninth for his second save of the year.

The Trojans out-hit the Dolphins in the game 16-15, but also left nine runners on base. LeMoyne was led offensively by freshman Brett Botsford, who had five singles, scored three times and drove in two while reaching base all six times to the plate.

Precise led the Trojans with four hits, three of which were doubles, and drove in two, while Martz had three hits and Ditthardt and Brett Henry had two each.

The Trojans will be back in action at Riddle-Pace Field on Wednesday when Jacksonville State comes to town. The game is has been re-scheduled for a 3 p.m. start because of the home basketball game for the Troy men’s team in the College Basketball Invitational Tournament.

“We’ve had a lot of success against in-state schools and we need to continue that to build momentum going into a big Sun Belt Conference series against Western Kentucky next weekend,” Pierce said. “I don’t think our current players understand the rivalry with Jacksonville State, but it is a big game for us to build some momentum.”