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Troy topples UNO

NEW ORLEANS — The Troy Trojans recorded their first Sun Belt Conference series win of the year by taking a 19-8 victory over New Orleans on Sunday in a game stopped after eight innings because of the 10-run rule.

The Trojans improved to 15-10 overall and 4-5 in league play while dropping UNO to 9-16 overall and 4-8 in the conference.

The Privateers got off to a quick start on Sunday, chasing Troy starter Travis Burge in the first inning. Burge walked the first two UNO hitters he faced before allowing a two-run double to Nick Mitchell. After an error and a wild pitch plated a third run, Burge was lifted in favor of sophomore Drew Hull (2-2), who quickly got out of the inning.

“I don’t know what the problem was with Travis,” Troy coach Bobby Pierce said. “He is a control guy, and has been very good, but he did not have his command out there today. Fortunately, the bull pen held it together and we were able to score some runs.”

Many of the Trojans’ 19 runs in the game came courtesy of the long ball. Senior Trevor Tyre blasted a pair of two-run homers, and just missed a third, while Chad Watson and Brett Henry also added two-run bombs.

“We are beginning to see our offense heat up a little bit,” Pierce said. “Over the course of the season, guys will get hot and cold, and we are always looking for that hot bat.”

Troy responded in the second, scoring five times off UNO starter Cory Myers (1-3) to chase him from the game. Tyre had the first big blow of the game for Troy, launching a two-run homer to left. After a pair of walks, Steven Felix and Ryan Ditthardt delivered RBI singles to chase Myers.

The Trojans added to their lead in the third inning, scoring four times off reliever John Pivach. Tyre launched his second two-run homer of the game, this one to right, to get the inning started before Felix plated a run with a sacrifice fly and Ditthardt singled in another.

UNO cut the Troy lead to 9-6 in the third when Nick Schwaner blasted a three-run homer off Hull.

The Trojans got two of those runs back in the fourth when Chad Watson hit a two-run homer off the third UNO pitcher of the day, Matt Brown. Troy then piled on five more runs in the fifth against two more Privateer hurlers. Henry and Hoyle had run-scoring singles and Watson had a two-run double to highlight the frame, pushing Troy’s lead to 16-6.

UNO chased Hull in the fifth, loading the bases with no one out, but Andrew Dickinson came on and prevented a big inning, retiring all three batters he faced, allowing just a sacrifice fly to Schwaner, which cut the Troy lead to 16-7.

Troy pushed its lead to 19-7 with three runs in the eighth. Henry’s third home run of the year, a two-run shot, was the big blow of the frame.

UNO got one run back in the eighth on a pinch hit single by Alan Harris, but senior J.J. Whetsel was able to get out of the inning without further damage to wrap up the victory.

Troy’s 17-hit attack in the game was led by Pettus, Hoyle and Watson with three hits each, while Ditthardt, Henry and Tyre had two hits each.

The Trojans will be back in action on Tuesday at Riddle-Pace Field when they open a two-game series against Southern Miss. Tuesday’s game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start and Wednesday’s game is slated to begin at 4 p.m.

“We like to play good teams in the non-conference schedule and Southern Miss definitely fits that bill,” Pierce said. “This will be the first time they have ever come to Troy and they always have a well-coached and talented team. They took care of UCF very easily this weekend and will be a very tough opponent for us this week.”