Troy to host Florida Atlantic

Published 9:58 pm Thursday, April 26, 2012

It’s been a tough week for the Troy Trojans baseball team, but a return to conference play for a three game home series against Florida Atlantic may just be the boost they need to get back in the game.

The Trojans (18-23, 6-12) are coming off of a 9-1 home win over Alabama A&M, preceded by three straight losses that included a 7-0 shutout against Auburn on April 24.

The win over Alabama A & M may have been a confidence booster for the Trojans, but it was also a chance to flex their muscles on the mound and experiment with multiple players.

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The Trojans rotated in five pitchers over the course of nine innings, giving time to Ivan Carter, Chris Fisher, William Teal, Cass Abercrombie and Ali Knowles.

Out of the five Carter turned in the best performance for the team, with the sophomore pitching four shutout innings in his collegiate debut.

With the exception of Fisher, who pitched two innings, each of the three remaining pitchers saw one inning of work through only Knowles allowed a run on two hits in the ninth innings.

The Trojans lead pitcher, senior Tyler Ray, is expected to start off the series against FAU on Friday night.

In his last outing as pitcher on Friday, April 20, against Western Kentucky Ray earned his 30th career victory over the course of nine innings of work that included six strike outs and only three earned runs.

On offense the Trojans bring in some big hitters to face FAU, including junior Logan Pierce who is sitting on a .386 batting average and 38 RBIs.

Pierce will be moving the Trojan batting game forward along with Danny Collins and Boone Shear, who each have hit eight home runs this season, and a lineup that has five hitters above .300.

Though the Trojans bring in string bats and a plethora of solid pitchers, they will have a big challenge on their hands facing FAU.

The Owls (25-15, 13-3) are currently sitting at number one in the Sun Belt conference and are 7-2 in road conference matchups.

FAU senior Mike Albaledejo leads the team’s offense with a .361 batting average and a six-game hitting streak, a feat which has him ranked at fourth in the conference.

At pitcher senior Ryan Garton has started the last 24 series opening games for FAU and boasts a 2.77 earned run average, as well as 58 strikeouts on the season.

The Trojans will open the series on Friday, April 27, with games two and three to follow on Saturday and Sunday.

The series against FAU is one of only four conference series left in the Trojan’s season, with two non-conference matchups remaining against Samford and Alabama.

The Trojans will start game one at 6 p.m. at Riddle-Pace Field at Troy University.