Troy looking to regroup with trip to rival Auburn

Published 7:10 pm Monday, April 7, 2014

While most people in the work force dread Monday’s, Troy head coach Bobby Pierce couldn’t wait for the new week to get here.

Pierce’s Trojans were swept by Sun Belt leader, and No. 2 nationally ranked Louisiana-Lafayette in a three-game set at Riddle-Pace Field.

The three-game series marked the first time in nearly a decade the Trojans were swept at home. The last time Troy lost every game of a home series was May 7-8 of 2004, a three-game sweep at the hands of Florida Atlantic.

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The Trojans gave up 37 runs in the series against ULL, and notched only one hit in the finale on Saturday evening.

The new week gives Pierce new hope as the season nears the home stretch.

“After a weekend like we just had, the biggest thing we need to do is just regroup,” said Pierce. “We have to find a way to be more competitive for longer periods of time. We didn’t compete well this weekend, and have to clear our heads and get ready for a busy week of baseball.”

Troy opens the busy week on the road at Plainsman Park in Auburn. Auburn was also swept over the weekend by Ole Miss. The Tigers lost the first game of the series on a three-run home run in the 13th inning on what was an attempted intentional walk. Jordan Ebert heads the Tigers’ offensive attack with a .385 average. Blake Austin leads the squad with 22 RBIs while Damek Tomscha has turned in 21 RBIs with a team-high seven doubles.

Auburn is led by new head coach Sunny Galloway.

Galloway came to Auburn after nine highly successful seasons at Oklahoma. Galloway led the Sooners to NCAA Regionals in eight of his nine seasons, and guided the 2010 team to 50 wins and a trip to the NCAA College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

Pierce said he has not spoken about baseball with Galloway, but does respect him.

“I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Sunny, but everyone knows about his career,” said Pierce. “He has been a winner his whole time, at Oral Roberts and at Oklahoma. Looking at Auburn’s stats, you know that they are pretty dogone good.”

Later in the week, Troy plays host to Alabama A&M in a single game on Wednesday and Western Kentucky in a three-game Sun Belt Conference series over the weekend.

Pierce feels a successful week will do wonders for his team, and it all starts Tuesday night on the plains.

“We need a win for a lot of different reasons right now,” Pierce said. “We need to boost the confidence of these guys and get back to competing every day. A good week this week, and the season may start to turnaround for us.”