Smith’s two-run home run lifts Troy over CMU

Published 9:47 pm Friday, February 15, 2019

Reed Smith’s two-run home run vaulted the Troy Trojans to a 3-2 win over Central Michigan on opening night at Riddle-Pace Field Friday night.

The Trojans were held hitless through the first six innings of Friday’s contest but key hits late led the Trojans to their first win of the season.

Sophomore Levi Thomas got the start for the Trojans. Thomas pitched the game’s first 4.2 innings without allowing any runs on three hits. He struck out seven batters. Ryan Fultz pitched just two thirds of an inning, but logged his first ever win in a Trojan uniform.

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The Trojans finished with three hits in the win. Drew Frederic, Chase Smartt and Smith all had a hit for the Trojans.

The Trojans scored the game’s first run without the benefit of a hit in the fifth. Cole Prestegard became Troy’s first baserunner when reached on a one-out walk. After the walk, Smartt went to his bench to bring in Smith as a pinch runner. Smith, courtesy, of two wild pitches, landed on third base with one out in the inning. In his first game as a Trojan, freshman Logan Cerny drove in Smith on a sacrifice fly to center field.

Central Michigan answered in their next half inning. After Jason Sullivan reached on a one-out double, he came around to score on a wild throw following a strikeout by Evan Kratt.

The Trojans finally got in the hit column in the bottom of the seventh when Chase Smartt ripped a single to centerfield. One batter later Reed Smith crushed launched a two strike pitch over the right field wall for a two-run home run to give Troy their second lead of the game.

Rush Hixon entered the game with one out in the eighth. Central Michigan loaded the bases with a single followed by a walk and a hit batter. With two outs in the inning Manning Early couldn’t coral a ground ball and Central Michigan got back to within one on an error. One batter later, Early made up for the error when he converted the final out on a hot shot up the middle.

The Trojans will continue their opening series with Central Michigan on Saturday with a double header beginning at 1 p.m. game two is scheduled to start at 4 p.m.