Troy bests Auburn on the road

Published 10:18 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023

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The Troy Trojans (29-13) picked up a big in-state victory on Tuesday, topping the Auburn Tigers (23-17-1) by a score of 8-7.

After Troy went up 1-0 in the top of the first inning, Auburn scored six runs in the bottom of the first and it looked like the Tigers would run away with the contest. The Trojans had other ideas, however.

In the top of the second, Troy rallied as Kole Myers and Shane Lewis both belted two-run homers to cut Auburn’s lead to 6-5.

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Both teams were unable to score another run until the Trojans rallied to score three more runs in the sixth inning to retake the lead 8-6. In the bottom of the seventh, Auburn scored another run to cut the Troy lead to just one.

In the eighth inning, both Troy and Auburn had the bases loaded facing two outs with the defenses managing to make stands. In the top of the ninth, Auburn again held Troy scoreless to give themselves a chance to win it in the bottom of the inning.

Troy pitcher Zach Fruit entered the game in the bottom of the ninth and made short work of the Tigers. The first two Auburn batters grounded out and then Fruit struck out the third batter in three straight pitches to earn the win.

Donovan Whibbs led Troy at the plate, going 2-for-3 with two runs, while William Sullivan went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run. Noah Manning (2-2) got the win on the mound for Troy, striking out two batters and giving up three hits and no runs in four and 1/3 innings. Fruit earned his second save of the season as he gave up no hits or runs with one strikeout in one inning pitched.

Troy native and former Pike Lib star Drew Nelson hit the mound for Auburn for 2/3 of an inning against Troy, giving up one hit and one earned run. Parker Carlson pitched three and 1/3 innings for Auburn and struck out three batters, while giving up one hit and two earned runs. Bobby Pierce led Auburn at the plate, going 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run.

Troy’s win over Auburn marked the Trojans’ first win over the Tigers since 2018 and moved Troy’s all-time record against the in-state foe to 24-58. The win over Auburn also brings Troy’s record against in-state opponents this season to 6-1.

With Lewis’ second inning home run it brought the sophomore to 19 on the season, which not only ranks first in the Sun Belt but is tied for the sixth most in school history in a season and is the first time a Trojan batter has reached 19 homers or more since 2013.

Troy will remain in-state this weekend for a Sun Belt Conference series against South Alabama in Mobile April 28-30.