Troy seeks to establish personality

Published 11:43 pm Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Following a series loss to Monmouth over the weekend, Troy baseball head coach Bobby Pierce is hoping his team can find its identity before conference play begins Friday in Mobile against South Alabama.

“We’re still searching for who we are,” Pierce said. “Its just experience. We have some youth still trying to figure out what we’re trying to do.”

Of Troy’s top six hitters, three are newcomers and two are freshman.

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Danny Collins is second on the team with a .338 batting average but has committed nine errors in just 37 chances forcing Pierce to make a change.

Austin Golden has started the last four games at the hot corner including all three of the Monmouth series.

“Austin is holding his own,” Pierce said. “We haven’t given up on Danny but we needed more consistency at the position.”

Golden has batted a modest .267 and has fielded at a .938 clip.

One issue Pierce hopes to have resolved is Sunday’s starting pitching role. After six solid innings on the mound in last Tuesday’s matchup with East Carolina, Cass Abercrombie will get another go on the mound this weekend.

Abercrombie, a junior, will make just his second start of the season and fifth of his career.

“That’s a spot we hope we have filled in Cass,” said Pierce.” We’ll see how he does Sunday and go from there.”

There has been little doubt that Abercrombie’s fastball would allow him to compete with anyone, his breaking pitch has left something to be desired.

“When he has his secondary pitch working he can compete through the order more than once,” said Pierce. “If it’s not as effective is when opponents start looking fastball and he gets in trouble.”

The Trojans, who are currently 8-7, look to stay over .500 through the first weekend of conference play. The last time Troy played a Sun Belt game with a losing record was 2010. The team then went on 9-2 run to finish 36-25 on the season.

Tyler Ray will start off the series on the mound Friday night. First pitch is set for 6:30p.m. Jimmy Hodgskin will take the bump for the 6:30p.m. matchup on Saturday before Abercrombie starts the finale on Sunday at 1p.m.