Talented Trojan pitching staff gearing up for 2012 season

Published 10:40 pm Wednesday, February 15, 2012

When scouting Troy’s pitching staff, opponents will have their hands full.

Tyler Ray will lead off the weekends for the Trojans in 2012. The senior, with 27 career wins, is eight shy of setting the Sun Belt and Troy career record for victories. Ray was 12-0 last season with a 2.39 ERA.

“Ray has been a steady performer going back to his freshman year,” head coach Bobby Pierce said. “He’s more physical now and capable of going deep into games and saving our bullpen.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Ray recorded three complete games last season; he finished none in his previous two.

Left-handed sophomore Jimmy Hodgskin will get the nod as Troy’s No. 2 starter. As a freshman, Hodgskin was 3-7 with a 4.68 ERA. Pierce is looking for the southpaw to flip his win-loss record this season.

“He is a hard working, determined athlete,” Pierce said. “He’s made the necessary adjustments and improvement from his first year to turn that record around.”

Gulf Coast Community College transfer Adam Purdy will begin the season as the Trojans third starter. Purdy was drafted out of high school and originally signed with Auburn before enrolling at Gulf Coast.

Pierce will hand the fourth spot to junior Chris Fisher. The right-hander tossed just eight innings last season for the Trojans after recovering from Tommy John surgery in 2010. Fisher will be Troy’s go-to guy for a mid-week start.

The Trojan bullpen is anchored by closer Tyson Workman. The senior was 5-3 a year ago with a team-high four saves. Workman, who will also see action at second base, will have a quality arm setting up the ninth in Nathan Hill.

Hill, who saved three games last season, could also be used as a closer while Workman plays the field or is in need of rest.

Middle inning relief will fall into the hands of pitchers like Thomas Austin, Garrett McHenry and Joe Hernandez. Austin and McHenry each appeared in at least 17 games last year. Austin was also named to the all-tournament team at the NCAA Regional.

William Teal, Ryan Brady and A.J. Howard will also see extended time on the mound for the Trojans.

Others looking to earn time on the mound are Ivan Carter, Jeremy McGowan and Cass Abercrombie.

Troy opens the 2012 season at Riddle-Pace Field against Central Michigan on tomorrow night. First pitch is set for 6p.m.