Baseball: Northern Kentucky preview

Published 5:14 pm Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hey guys, just wanted to drop some notes off in prep for the baseball season opener tomorrow night at Riddle-Pace. I am going to try to keep the The Beat updated throughout the season, and sprinkle in some basketball, softball and spring football along the way.

Northern Kentucky vs. Troy

The Trojans begin their quest for back-to-back Sun Belt titles by hosting the Norse of Northern Kentucky. NKU is in the second year of the program, and limped to an n 8-47 record in 2013. The Norse does return a member of the Atlantic Sun All-Freshman team in catcher Logan Spurlin.

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Troy will go with Tanner Hicks on Friday, Shane McCain on Saturday’s first game, JUCO transfer Cody Hughes will get the ball in the back end of the twin bill and former Pike Lib standout Will Starling, fresh off Tommy John surgery, will handle the Sunday duties.

McCain, the defending Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year, will pitch on Saturday because the Troy coaches don’t want to mess with the routine. McCain had tremendous success on Saturday’s last season, and the coaches are living by the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” philosophy.

As far as the lineup goes, Troy will be looking to replace the pop from the two, three, four spots left vacant due to the departure of Logan Pierce, Danny Collins and Trae Santos. Troy head coach Bobby Pierce did name two players who are new to the program, but feels will help fill the void.

Nick Masonia, the career leader in home run in Alabama high school history, will see time for the Trojans. Pierce says Masonia is a “dang good hitter that can hit some long ones.” Pierce also feels Masonia fits right in to Troy’s famous doubles approach, and thinks he will bat in the two or three hole.

Trevin Hall, a transfer from Gulf Coast State, has, as Pierce says, a “little longer limbed guy” that possesses more power than Masonia. Pierce says Hall will hit somewhere in the order, more than likely between fourth and sixth in the order.

Pierce also likes having David Hall’s bat back in the lineup. Hall was in the middle of Troy’s order before sustaining a foot injury in the season’s second week of play last season. David Hall will bat fourth.

Pierce said his main concern for the weekend is making sure his team is where it needs to be mentally, and making sure the lineup and rotation are what he likes. I would expect to see some subtle tweaks throughout the games this weekend until Bobby P finds something he likes.

Random stats

Troy is 794-299-1 all time at Riddle-Pace Field.

The Trojans have not been swept at home since May of 2004.

Troy is 16-5 all-time against non-conference teams from the state of Kentucky.

Since 2010, Troy is 13-1 on opening weekend.


I feel Troy should make it a sweep of NKU this weekend, and should be undefeated when Central Michigan comes to town next weekend. Also, in case you haven’t heard Troy is selling brewskis in the ballpark now. So enjoy your weekend of baseball.

If you want give me a follow on Twitter @RyanLMcCollough, and I will do my best to keep you entertained and informed.