Troy baseball set to take on Western Kentucky

Published 8:50 pm Thursday, April 11, 2013

After sweeping in-state opponents Jacksonville State and Samford in midweek games, the Troy baseball team will look to extend its three-game win streak with a weekend series against Western Kentucky.

The Trojans (23-9, 7-5) are looking to pick up their third series win of the season. Currently, Troy is tied for second third in the Sun Belt Conference standings and just a game behind WKU and Florida Atlantic, who are tied for first.

Troy picked up a solid effort from Thomas Austin, Robert Price and William Teal in relief of starter Joe Hernandez in Wednesday’s 15-4 victory over Samford. Starter Joe Hernandez ran into a rough patch in the fourth and ended up allowing four runs.

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Logan Pierce, Danny Collins and Trae Santos continue to provide the Troy offense with plenty of power. The trio has accounted for 18 of Troy’s 25 home runs and has driven in 120 of the team’s 253 runs. Pierce, the Sun Belt Conference preseason Player of the Year, leads the conference with a .421 average and is 14-for-25 (.560) over the last seven games.

Shortstop Tyler Vaughn is also turning in a stellar season. The junior is batting .383 and has scored 45 runs which is second-best nationally.

Western Kentucky enters the series having lost three of its last five games. The Hilltoppers (18-15, 8-4) lost their last weekend series to Arkansas State we rebounded to defeat Louisville in a midweek contest.

Tanner Hicks (3-2, 4.36) is scheduled to get the start in Friday’s opener, which is set for a 6 p.m. start. Will Starling (4-3, 5.97) is in line to start on Saturday while southpaw Shane McCain (6-0, 3.56) is expected to get the nod in Sunday’s contest.