Confidence is high for Trojans

Published 3:00 am Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Troy Trojans got a three-run homerun by Jackson Cofer to propel them to a 5-2 win over the No. 5 Auburn Tigers and Plainsman Park on Tuesday night.

The win over the fifth ranked Tigers is the highest ranked victory in the Trojans Division-I history.

“It was a good night for Troy,” said Trojans head coach Mark Smartt. “I was really proud of our team. We beat a really good Auburn team at their place. It was a sensational win for our program and our players.”

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The Trojans led throughout the ball game on Tuesday after scoring an early run in the first inning. Before and during the game, Smartt noticed an air of confidence surrounding his ball club.

“I thought they played that way,” Smartt said. “I thought when the game ended, they felt like they were the better team on the field. They expected to win and their reaction kind of showed it.”

The big blow of the game came off the bat of Cofer. The junior hit his first ever homerun in the fifth inning to give the Trojans a 4-0 lead.

“Obviously it was the big blow in the game,” Smartt said. “It’s fun. I said in the pregame to Barry (McKnight) that we haven’t had a lot of three-run homeruns as a team. Those change the game and that was a big blow in the game.”

The win for the Trojans was their fifth in a row dating back to April 19 when they defeated in-state rival Jacksonville State following a disappointing loss to another in-state rival UAB the night before. The Trojans are starting to climb in the standings after sweeping Texas State over the weekend and now sit in fourth place in the Sun Belt Conference’s east division with a conference record of 9-9.

“I can’t imagine our team having any more confidence or belief than they have right now,” Smartt said. “Anytime you win five in a row and you’re coming off a sweep, it certainly bodes well from that side of the coin. I hope that continues; there is no reason why it can’t continue.”

The Trojans look to carry over the momentum earned from beating Auburn into this weekend’s trip to Conway, South Carolina where they will take on the first place and defending World Series champion Coastal Carolina.

“We obviously have a tough road test coming up at Coastal,” Smartt said. “It’s an important series in our conference race. We are moving up in the standings so that needs to continue this weekend with a difficult challenge.”

The win over Auburn marks the second win against a team from the Southeastern Conference this season for Troy. The Trojans defeated Alabama 12-11 at Riddle-Pace Field back on April 4. The hope of Smartt is that these wins will not only propel his squad for the rest of this year, but that it will help the program in the long-run as well.

“It gives our program continued credibility; which we strive for each and every day,” Smartt said. “It gives us opportunity recruiting-wise in that it gives players and belief in what we are doing. More importantly to me is that it gives your team the belief that they can beat anybody.”