Troy hosts FIU looking to extend home win streak

Published 10:30 pm Thursday, May 2, 2013

After a four-day layoff, the Troy University baseball team returns to Riddle-Pace Field for a three-game series with Florida International.

The Trojans (32-12, 13-8) took a break from midweek action after becoming the first Sun Belt team to win a series against Florida Atlantic at Owls Stadium.

Troy enters the series against FIU (23-21, 11-10) winners of 13 straight home games which is tops in the NCAA.

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First baseman Trae Santos continued his hot hitting by belting three home runs over the weekend versus FAU. Santos now leads the conference and is fourth in the country with 13 longs balls on the season.

The Trojans enter the weekend in second place in the Sun Belt standings and have played solid all-around baseball this season. Troy is second in the league in batting average (.301), second in ERA (3.94) and first in fielding percentage (.979).

Starters Tanner Hicks and Shane McCain will once again lead the Trojans into the weekend. Hicks (6-2, 3.63) will open the series on the mound Friday night while McCain (7-1, 3.71) will toe the rubber on Saturday.

Senior left-hander Ryan Sorce (5-0, 2.58) is scheduled to start Sunday’s contest.

Hicks has allowed three or fewer runs in nine of his 11 starts this season. Meanwhile, McCain has been just as strong throwing three complete games this year and having walked just 20 batters over the last two seasons.

Offensively, Troy will lean on right fielder Danny Collins, who was named to the Golden Spikes mid-season watch list this week. Collins is batting .381 heading into the weekend, second best in the Sun Belt, and is fourth in the NCAA with 21 doubles.

Florida International has lost four of its last five games including a midweek doubleheader to Florida Gulf Coast.

The Golden Panthers will send junior left-hander Tyler Alexander (3-5, 4.21) to the mound against Troy on Friday night.

The series will open with a 6p.m. first pitch on Friday followed by a 3p.m. start time on Saturday and a noon start on Sunday. Saturday’s game is set to broadcast live on the Sun Belt Network.