Troy Baseball drops conference series to rival South Alabama

Published 9:46 am Monday, May 1, 2023

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The Troy Trojans (30-15, 11-10) lost their first Sun Belt Conference series since March this past weekend, falling to the South Alabama Jaguars on the road.

After winning three straight conference series, Troy lost two of the three games against its rival Jaguars this weekend. It also drops Troy’s record against in-state competition to 7-3.

Troy and South Alabama split the doubleheader on April 28. In game one, the Trojans fell behind 2-0 in the second inning and were never able to get on track, never being able to tie the contest again as South Alabama held on for a 5-2 win.

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Ethan Kavanagh was the only Trojan with multiple hits in game one, going 2-for-4 at the plate with one run. Caleb Bartolero scored the other Trojan run.

Brady Fuller took the loss on the mound, giving up five hits and two earned runs with three strikeouts in three innings pitched. Kristian Asbury also struck out two batters and gave up two hits with one earned run in three innings.

South Alabama’s Trey Lewis went 2-for-4 with one run, while Leif Moore got the win on the mound. Moore struck out two batters and gave up three hits and no runs in six innings pitched.

In game two, Troy jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back, tying the series with a dominating 8-1 win.

The Trojans hit three homers in the win with Shane Lewis belting his 20th of the season. Caleb Bartolero and Treymane Cobb Jr. both hit homers, as well. Lewis and Bartolero scored two runs apiece, while Donovan Whibbs, William Sullivan, Hudson Hartsfield and Cobb scored one run each.

Grayson Stewart got the win on the mound for Troy, mowing down 10 batters and giving up just three hits and no earned runs. Zach Fruit picked up his third save of the season, striking out one batter and giving up one hit and no runs in two and 1/3 innings pitched.

South Alabama’s Cole Ketzner scored the Jags’ lone run, while Mitchell Heer took the loss on the mound. He struck out five batters and gave up seven hits and five earned runs in six innings.

South Alabama captured the series win with a 9-4 victory over Troy on April 30. After battling to a 1-1 tie after the first inning, the Jags scored six runs in the third inning and the Trojans were never able to get back into the game.

Lewis led Troy at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a home run, one RBI and two runs, while Kavanagh went 2-for-4 with a run. Clay Stearns also scored one run.

Logan Ross took his first loss on the mound of the 2023 season, striking out three batters and giving up eight hits and one earned run in three and 1/3 innings. Noah Manning also fanned three batters and gave up four hits and one earned run in three and 2/3 innings pitched.

South Alabama’s Will Turner went 3-for-5 with two runs, while Micah Morgan hit a homer. Caden Homniok got the win on the mound for the Jaguars, striking out three batters and giving up two hits and one earned run in two and 2/3 innings.

With two more homers this weekend, Lewis moved up to tie for second in the entire country with 21 home runs on the season. He also leads the Sun Belt and now moves into a tie for fourth place for the most home runs in a single season in Troy history. Lewis is tied with Michael Rivera’s 21 homers in 1996. Jorge Soto currently holds the Troy record with 26 homers in 1999. Soto is also in second place with 23 homers. Soto is tied in second with Adam Bryant, who also belted 23 home runs in 2010. Kevan Burns sits in third place with 22 home runs in 1999.

The series loss put Troy at 11-10 on the season in conference play with Old Dominion, Louisiana, Georgia State and South Alabama all at 11-10, as well. Appalachian State also sits at 11-9. With just three more conference series left in the season, every game becomes important for the Trojans leading into the Sun Belt Tournament.

Troy gets a brief break from conference play on May 2 with a home game against in-state foe Jacksonville State at 6 p.m. The Trojans host Georgia Southern for a conference series May 5-7.