Trojans return home after ‘crazy’ series

Published 10:08 pm Monday, March 5, 2012

In a weekend that would push a coach, player or fan to the emotional brink, Troy’s baseball team left Daytona Beach, Fla., with a series win over Bethune-Cookman.

The Trojans (6-4) fell in the series opener, 3-2, on a walk-off homerun in extra innings. Troy pounded the Wildcats, 26-3, before winning the rubber match on the back of late inning miscues by Bethune-Cookman, 7-6.

“Games come in different styles,” head coach Bobby Pierce said. “Those where three crazy games.”

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In Saturday’s blowout, sophomore Tyler Vaughn, making his first career start, turned in a 5-for-5 performance with three RBI. For his efforts, Vaughn was named Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week.

“He’s a savvy type of player,” Pierce said. “He can do the little things well.”

Pierce said that above being red-hot at the plate, Vaughn appearance at the plate is what awed him the most.

“What impressed me was how comfortable he was up there,” said Pierce. “We look for guys to go up there and get the job done and that’s what he did.”

The Trojans did appear to lose a key component over the weekend. Right-handed pitcher Adam Purdy suffered an ankle injury while crossing the street near the team’s hotel.

Upon evaluation, it was determined that Purdy will require what could be season-ending injury.

“It was just a freak thing,” Pierce said. “He was crossing a six-lane road, jumped up on the curb and rolled his ankle.’

Purdy started the season as Troy’s Sunday starter but struggled in his first two starts, going 0-2 with a 21.60 ERA.

The Trojans replaced Purdy over the weekend with redshirt freshman Jeremy McGowan. The right-hander tossed 3 1/3 innings allowing a pair of earned runs on six hits.

“He did his job,” said Pierce. “We have seen him throw better but he gave us a chance to win.”

By design, Pierce has shuffled his lineup more than half a dozen times in 10 games and started six freshman or sophomores in each of Saturday’s and Sunday’s games.

“Everybody on the team has the be ready when their name is called,’ said Pierce. “They have to be ready to do the job they are asked of them.”

The Trojans will look to a mixture of guys this week as the team opens a five game home stretch against UAB tonight.

The Blazers (8-3) have given Troy problems in the past as the Trojans are just 22-20 all-time against their in-state foe and were swept in two games last season.

Chris Fisher (0-0, 7.88) will get the nod on the mound for the Trojans. Fisher could be another candidate as the Sunday starter as the season progresses.

Troy will host East Carolina on Wednesday before Monmouth comes to Riddle-Pace for a three game series over the weekend.

Game time for Troy and UAB is set for 6p.m.