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On the diamond: Trojans feature plenty of experience in fall camp

The Troy Trojans conclude fall camp this week with intra-squad games today and Thursday.

“I have been very pleased with the results this fall,” said head baseball coach Mark Smartt said. “I think our team overall has improved in almost every area, from start to finish. As a coach that is certainly what you are looking for. That doesn’t guarantee any form of success, but it sure does point us in the right direction.”

The Trojans came to camp with a roster that saw success during last season. Mixed in with veterans Chase Smartt and Joey Denison will be a wealth of junior college transfers including Troy’s own Rushing Hixon who transferred in from Central Alabama Community College.

“We are an older and more experienced group of players,” Smartt said. “We are an older team in most every area. Typically through our time here that has served us well in the past. At our level of competition in the Sun Belt Conference I think experienced teams have a better chance of success.”

Hixon who was an award-winning player last season should get valuable playing time beginning in February.

“I have been very encouraged with Rush’s first fall,” Smartt said. “He certainly will be involved on the mound, in what way I’m not sure. He could either start or relieve. Rush has thrown the ball very well. He is competitive and he stepped right in here. Coming home has been a real positive for him. He is very capable and has good ability.”

Hixon was named to the All-Region 22 team last season and also won the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Gold Glove Award for his play in the field. “The most important thing for him is that had a good sophomore year,” Smartt said. “He has confidence based on all the success he has had.”

The Trojans are concluding a three-game World Series this week

“All of our intra-squad games this fall, minus one or two, have been real competitive,” Smartt said. “We split our team in half. All the games have been fairly close. I like the competition that our team showed. We have two days left and I hope the team that is down 0-1 will win game two. I have been very pleased with how they have gone about it.”

The final two games of the intrasquad World Series will be this evening at 6 p.m. and Thursday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.