Troy tops Georgia Southern in weekend series

Published 8:48 am Monday, May 8, 2023

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The Troy Trojans (33-16, 13-11) picked up a pair of wins in a Sun Belt Conference baseball series with the Georgia Southern Eagles (24-23, 14-10) this weekend and sophomore Shane Lewis tied the school record for home runs in a season in the process.

Troy dominated Georgia Southern in back-to-back home games May 5-6, outscoring the Eagles 31-12 in the two contests. Georgia Southern managed to avoid the sweep on Sunday by holding on for a 9-7 win over the Trojans, however.

In game one, Troy jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning and stretched that lead to 10-0 going into the fifth and ended with a 15-7 victory. Shane Lewis went 2-for-5 at the plate with a pair of home runs, three RBIs and two runs, while Ethan Kavanagh went 4-for-4 with a triple, three RBIs and three runs. Tremayne Cobb Jr. also went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs. Caleb Bartolero earned a double, Donovan Whibbs belted a triple and Clay Stearns also hit a grand slam home run in the win.

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Grayson Stewart (7-2) picked up the win on the mound, striking out six batters and giving up seven hits and three earned runs in six innings pitched. Noah Manning picked up his seventh save of the season as he tallied three strikeouts, while giving up one hit and no runs in three innings pitched.

Game two was more of the same with the Trojans earning 19 hits and seven walks as a team on the way to picking up a 16-5 win to secure the conference series win. Lewis went 1-for-2 at the plate with yet another home run, one RBI and five runs. He was also walked three times and hit by a pitch. William Sullivan went 3-for-5 with a homer, four RBIs and two runs, while Cobb went 5-for-6 with a home run, eight RBIs and three runs. Kyle Mock went 3-for-5 with a double.

Brandon Schrepf picked up his first win on the mound as he struck out one batter and gave up no hits or runs in two innings pitched. Logan Ross pitched four and 2/3 innings and fanned five batters along with giving up six hits and one earned run.

In game three, Georgia Southern jumped out to a 3-1 lead and held on to a 7-5 lead going into the seventh inning. Both teams scored two runs each for the remainder of the game as the Eagles were able to put the brooms away and avoid the sweep.

Sullivan went 3-for-4 at the plate with two doubles and one run for Troy, while Caleb Bartolero went 3-for-5 with a home run, one RBI and two runs. Kyle Mock also hit a home run in the loss.

Ben Thompson (5-2) took the loss on the mound, striking out five batters and giving up seven hits and five earned runs in three and 2/3 innings pitched. Zach Fruit also pitched four and 1/3 innings and struck out three batters along with giving up four hits and four earned runs.

Lewis’ big weekend ties him for first place in school history for home runs in a season with 26. Jorge Soto also hit 26 homers in 1999 for the Trojans. Lewis’ 26 dingers also puts him in second place in the entire country, just behind Florida’s Jac Caglianone, who hit his 27th homer this weekend. No one else in the country currently has more than 22. Lewis is now just one home run away from being Troy’s undisputed Home Run King and six away from breaking the Sun Belt record.

Troy takes a break from region play for another in-state showdown as the Trojans meet the SEC’s Alabama Crimson Tide at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Troy and Alabama met back on April 4 in a game that the Tide won 10-2 in Tuscaloosa. Alabama holds the edge 26-12 all-time against the Trojans and are on a four-game winning streak in the series. The Trojans haven’t defeated Alabama since 2019. This will also be the second time the two sides have met in Montgomery. Troy and Alabama played in Montgomery last in 2008, a 5-4 Trojan win. Troy is currently 8-3 against in-state opponents this season.

The mid-week clash with Alabama is Troy’s final non-conference game of the regular season. The Trojans will follow that up with a weekend series against Marshall on the road May 12-14 before ending the regular season at home against Appalachian State May 18-20.