Josh Storm pumped his fist in excitement after he struck out Andrew Martin to record his sixth save of the season and his 18th as a Trojan in the Trojans’ 4-2 win over visiting Kennesaw State Tuesday night at Riddle-Pace.
The save broke Storm free of a tie with Josh Dew for the most in a Troy career.
“It has been a long year and I have struggled here and there, but it is just great to get the opportunity to pitch here at home,” Storm said. “I have had some arm problems and I hurt my hand earlier this year and it has just been great to battle back from that and finally get this record.”
Troy head coach Bobby Pierce said he is glad to see the senior get back into form.
“I am just so proud of Josh,” he said. “Battling through what he has battled through and to set not only our single season last year, but career this year is quite a feat when you consider some of the closers we have had in the past three or four year. And now he is the single season saves leader and the career saves leader. He does it with a lot of guys and determination and you have to love that about the kid.”
Troy (31-19) sent eight pitchers to the mound for some work in what was the last non-conference game of the season and Pierce liked what he saw.
“What I really liked was each guy we sent out there seemed a little more relaxed than they have pitched before and therefore they pitched better,” Pierce said. “I thought we pitched great tonight and did just enough offensively.”
Pierce said the momentum stayed on the Trojans’ side as each new pitcher toed the rubber.
“Guy after guy went out there and made pitches,” Pierce said. “That is what they are capable of and we are trying to get this staff where we thought it should be. Tonight you saw why we have hung in there with them and what we have been waiting for.”
The Kennesaw Owls (28-21) opened the scoring in the third inning with two runs on four hits. Two back-to-back solo home runs to open the third were the only runs the Owls put up in the game.
The Trojans got one run back in the bottom of the inning. Steven Rosado singled and scored on a Ryan Ditthardt single two batters later to cut the lead to 2-1.
The Trojans produced a run in the bottom of the fifth to tie the score at 2-2 when Rosado was hit by a pitch, Charley Williams sacrificed him over to second with a bunt and Trevor Tyre continued his hot hitting with an RBI single.
Brett Henry launched a solo home run in the sixth to give Troy a 3-2 lead. Miles Hoyle kept the inning alive with a single and Michael Precise walked before Jake Sullivan put down a sacrifice bunt and Adam Bryant drove Hoyle home with a single for a 4-2 Troy lead.
Steven Morelock started the game for Troy on the mound and threw three innings, but Andrew Dickinson picked up the win as the third pitcher in relief. Four pitchers later Storm closed the door and Troy extended its win streak to seven games.
The Trojans head to Mobile for a Thursday, Friday, Saturday series with South Alabama. Game time is at 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday.