Bobby Pierce leads Troy University baseball into his final season as head coach

Published 3:54 am Friday, January 30, 2015

For Troy University head baseball coach Bobby Pierce, 2015 brings just another season.

Another chance to win a conference title and another year to spend with his players.

Of course, that’s just his opinion.

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To everyone else, 2015 is a farewell tour for Pierce, one final go as the leader of the Trojans.

This offseason, Pierce announced that this upcoming season would be his last as the head coach of Troy baseball. He will retire at the conclusion of the 2015 season.

“It (2015 season) is different, but it is a good different,” Pierce said. “Each day that goes by, I kind of look at that day as wow, that will be the final time for that. I am really enjoying it. I am trying to cherish each moment with the players and the coaches. It is a good difference, really.”

Though it is his final season at the helm, that doesn’t mean Pierce doesn’t have anything to play for.

The head coach enters 2015 just 15 wins shy of breaking legendary Troy head baseball coach Chase Riddle’s school record of 436 career victories.

“We are certainly looking forward to this season…I really like the work they put in going back to the fall,” Pierce said. “I don’t have any predictions, nor do I make them at this time of year. It has been a great group to be around, and a great group that has really worked to develop for the upcoming season.”

Given his roster and firepower for 2015, Pierce should have no problem surpassing that mark.

Wednesday, Troy senior designated hitter and sophomore pitcher Marc Skinner were both named to the preseason All-Sun Belt team.

“We’re very proud of the accomplishments of both David and Marc, and proud of them for being recognized for their performance on the field,” Pierce said. “Both work very hard to maintain and improve their game. We are excited and looking forward to seeing them in the 2015 season.”

In 2014, Hall, who was named to the All-Sun Belt second team, led Troy offensively with a .344 batting average, nine home runs and 48 RBI.

Skinner, who was also named the Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and Louisville Slugger All-American in 2014, was also named to the second team after a 2014 campaign that featured a 6-1 record on the mound and a league-best 1.52 ERA, the fifth-best in Troy single-season history.

As a result, Troy is projected to finish fifth in the Sun Belt Conference in 2015.

“I’ve been waiting to get back out there on the field and compete,” Skinner said. “Hopefully we can bring home a championship this year. I think we’ve got a very competitive team this year.”

And with all of the history and pomp and circumstance that comes with a head coach’s final season, Pierce insisted that the players don’t feel any added pressure to have a special year. They’ll play like they would any other season.

He may get a little nostalgic on these final road trips, though.

“I will be doing more of a 33-year salute on some of those road trips,” Pierce said. “A lot of coaches in our league and some outside of our league I have good relationships with. All of that I am going to miss.”