Troy baseball opens practice, looking to defend Sun Belt title

Published 10:08 pm Friday, January 24, 2014

Baseball players might be known as the “boys of summer,” but the Troy Trojans were bundled up on the first day of practice on Friday.

Beanies and hoodies took the place of ball caps and Adidas CLIMA gear as temps hovered just above the freezing point during the Trojans’ first full-team practice session of the season.

“Well, it is certainly a chilly day to open it up,” said Troy head coach Bobby Pierce. “Obviously, this time of year everybody is really excited. We have been working a little in smaller group sessions, but today is the first true team practice. It is certainly an exciting time to kick off the spring.”

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Troy captured the 2013 Sun Belt Conference regular season championship in dramatic fashion.

The Trojans knocked off rival South Alabama at Stankey Filed in Mobile in the final conference series of the season.

“I think every team opens the year with a lot of optimism about what they want to see or what they want to accomplish,” Pierce said. “Building off our season last year, I definitely think we fall in to that category and will try to build in a positive way.”

The defending Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year, Shane McCain, agrees with his head coach that the Trojans want another Sun Belt title.

“We learned in 2012 that it is tough to repeat and win a championship,” McCain said. “That is always the ultimate goal. We are excited about the challenge ahead of us, and are ready to get at it.”

Troy opens the 2014 season at home February 14 against the Northern Kentucky Norse.