3 Things – Midweek

Published 2:02 pm Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Got several things happening this weekend. Unfortunately, baseball and softball are on the road. I’ve got plenty of high school stuff to keep me busy though.

Three things to watch this weekend.

1. Baseball tries to get on winning track

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Troy travels to Mobile to take on South Alabama. I was hoping to make this trip but it just didn’t work out. The Trojans are 8-7 and were very disappointed in the series loss to Monmouth last weekend. Head coach Bobby Pierce said the young team has some growing to do. Remember, several times this season Pierce has started six player who are either freshmen or sophomores.

Guys like Jimmy Hodgskin and Logan Pierce have to step up for the Trojans. Hodgskin (1-1, 4.81) has pitched well on the road but struggled at home. Pierce’s average dipped down to .229 but a 9-for-19 stretch over the last five games has brought it back up to .315.

Cass Abercrombie will get the Sunday start for the Trojans and a good start in a series finale will be a welcomed change. Abercrombie pitched six good innings against East Carolina last week. Like I said in my blog post last week, Abercrombie’s breaking ball will be key to his success. If it’s not moving or he’s hanging it in the zone, it will be a short outing for the junior.

One thing that stands out offensively is the lack of homeruns the team is hitting. Troy has played an average of 59.6 games the past three seasons and have hit 67 (2009), 100 (2010), and 43 (2011) long balls in those seasons. This season, they are on pace to hit just 27 homers as a team. That would mark the lowest total, by far, of a team under Pierce. Boone Shear lead the team thus far with three.

2. Football open spring practice on Sunday

It’s that time again. Spring football practice begins on Sunday and there are a couple of things I am anxious to see.

First, how involved will junior college transfer Deon Anthony be early in at quarterback. Anthony is 6-foot-1, 205 pounds and is a run/pass threat that could really push Corey Robinson for the starting position.

I am also interested in the O-line. Last year’s group started strong but had its share of problems protecting Robinson lat in the season. Of course, some of that was due to the young receiving corp’s inability to get open. Several JUCO transfers will get the chance to contribute.

Last, what changes will we see defensively. No way will head coach Larry Blakeney allow another miserable defensive season to occur.

3. Softball hits speed bump

I was hoping to see the softball team come out of Baton Rouge at least 2-2. Instead they lost to LSU twice (6-3, 1-0) and Mississippi Valley State once (2-1). The Trojans (17-5) just couldn’t come up with a big hit when they needed one. The pitching staff seemed to remain solid throughout which is something head coach Melanie Davis has to be proud of heading into conference play.

Sarah Shields leads the team in hitting with an impressive .373 average and three homers. Last season she finished with a .267 average and no homeruns.

The Trojans take on Louisiana-Monroe on the road to open Sun Belt play. They will return home for a Wednesday night matchup with Auburn before hosting No. 11 Louisiana-Lafayette.

This is a HUGE stretch for the team. Troy baseball is on the road during that time so make sure to head over to the softball field and support the Trojans.