Troy opens home stand with Alabama A&M

Published 11:00 pm Monday, April 15, 2013

The Troy baseball team will open a six-game home stand tonight at Riddle-Pace Field as the Trojans welcome Alabama A&M for a rare two-game midweek series.

After being handed a pair of tough defeats by Western Kentucky over the weekend – a 7-6 decision on Saturday in which the Trojans once held a 5-1 lead and 5-4 loss on Sunday – Troy will look to rebound against a 3-29 Alabama A&M squad.

The Bulldogs have struggled mightily this season. The pitching staff enters Tuesday with a combined 9.93 ERA and surrenders an average of 11.4 runs per game. The offense hasn’t fared much better batting .229 as a group.

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Will Starling (4-3, 6.53) will get the start in Tuesday’s game. Starling’s junior season, his first Division I season since transferring from Southern Union, has been a rocky one. Starling started the 2013 season as the Trojans’ Friday starter but was lifted this past weekend after just one inning off work in which he allowed three runs on five hits.

It appears Ryan Sorce, Troy’s usual midweek starter, could be moved to a weekend starting role. If Starling turns in a quality performance, however, he could be ready for a Saturday or Sunday appearance on sufficient rest.

Senior right-hander Joe Hernandez (0-0, 5.91) will get the nod in Wednesday’s match up with the Bulldogs.

Troy third baseman Logan Pierce extended his reached-base safely streak to 40 games which is the longest in the nation. The senior also leads the Sun Belt Conference with a .396 batting average.

Shortstop Tyler Vaughn ranks second nationally with 49 runs scored. Danny Collins, Trae Santos and Pierce are first, second and third in the Sun Belt in RBIs.

Troy is 5-0 all-time versus Alabama A&M including a 9-1 victory last season. The Trojans have won seven consecutive games at home entering Tuesday’s game.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday’s games are set to begin at 6 p.m.