Troy finds success stealing bases with new system

Published 11:00 pm Monday, March 4, 2013

The Troy baseball team improved to 8-3 on the season after taking a weekend series from No. 24 Southern Miss.

Many expected Troy to have a high-powered offense with the big bats of Logan Pierce, Trae Santos and Danny Collins. But, there wasn’t expected to be much speed on the bases particularly in the stolen base department.

It may have been a surprise to some teams to see the Trojans leading the league in stolen bases even at this early point in the season. Troy has been successful in 18 of 20 stolen base attempts this season – Louisiana-Monroe is second behind the Trojans with 15 swiped bags.

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“We’re just trying to incorporate some things to help us steal a few more bases than we have in the past,” Pierce said. “We’re not a very fast team, it’s just trying to get out of the gate a little quicker and pick a pitch that we might be able to get the bag on.”

While Pierce won’t completely reveal the team’s secret, he did say there has been an emphasis on players being more active and animated while on the bases.

“We want them to put a little more pressure on the pitcher so they’re slide-stepping a little more. When they’re slide-stepping, they’re not throwing their best pitch to the plate,” Pierce said. “Even if your not trying to steal a base, you’re winning the battle for your teammate at the plate.”

Troy stole just 39 bases all last season, which ranked eighth out of 10 teams in the Sun Belt Conference.

Currently, Clay Holcomb and Ali Knowles lead the Trojans with four stolen bases each. Knowles, however has missed the last seven games after suffering a hand injury in the series finale against Florida A&M.

Troy will travel to Birmingham to take on Samford today at 6 p.m. The Trojans split the season series with the Bulldogs last year winning at Riddle-Pace before losing on the road later in the season.

Troy will then play host to Hartford and Southeastern Louisiana over the weekend. The Trojans will play Hartford on Friday and Saturday before taking on Southeastern Louisiana on Sunday.