Twice as nice

Published 10:56 pm Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Troy’s William Shell picked up two wins on Wednesday against Alabama State. (Photo/Troy Athletics)

Troy’s William Shell picked up two wins on Wednesday against Alabama State. (Photo/Troy Athletics)

Troy, Shell pick up pair of wins over Bama State

It wasn’t supposed to be a double header, but Troy put a pair of wins over Alabama State in its back pocket Wednesday night.

The Trojans picked up a pair of 8-5 wins at Riddle-Pace Field Wednesday night in Troy. The Trojans got a W in a suspended game to start the day, before using a pair of two-run homers and a big seventh inning to power past the Hornets in the scheduled nine-inning game.

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William Shell had just one win on the season before Wednesday, but picked up the winning decision in both games go boost his record to 3-1.

“I don’t that I have ever had that happen to me before,” Shell said of the double down. “It was an all team effort. I was able to pound the strike zone and get guys out.”

In the 11 innings played over two games on Wednesday, Shell worked three-and-two-thirds innings. He struck out four and allowed just three hits.

Troy offense came alive in the second game as both Matthew Howard and Jo-El Bennett hit two-run homeruns to give Troy a 4-1 lead early.

Alabama State battled back to tie the game at four in the top of the seventh, but the Troy bats would come alive once again.

The Trojans used a two-RBI single by Nick Masonia and two errors in the field by the Hornet defense to plate four runs in the stanza.

A late Alabama State rally was put down by Shell with a ground ball out to second base.

“We had overall a better effort today,” said Troy head coach Bobby Pierce. “William threw great, as did Will Starling. We got some timely hits for a change, and took advantage of some of their mistakes. They (Alabama State) are a really good baseball team, and we got a pair of wins over a really good team.”

The wins come at a good time for Troy, who was fresh off a 7-3 loss to rival Jacksonville State on Tuesday, as Sun Belt foe Louisiana-Monroe comes to town this weekend for a three-game set.

“We needed some positive momentum,” said Pierce. “We have been really squeezing tight trying not to make mistakes, and it has backfired on us. A night like tonight might give us a chance to relax in a good way. Hopefully the guys will continue to have a good feeling as we head in to the weekend against Monroe.”

The Trojans and Warhawks will meet in a three-game series this weekend at Riddle-Pace Field.

First pitch for Friday’s game is set for 6 p.m.