Shane Lewis breaks home run record as Trojans clinch series

Published 9:17 am Saturday, May 20, 2023

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The Troy Trojans (38-17, 18-11) clinched the final Sun Belt Baseball series of the regular season on Friday with a 7-5 win over the Appalachian State Mountaineers (26-23, 15-13) and sophomore Shane Lewis broke the school’s home run record in the process.

Coming into the game, Lewis had 26 home runs on the season, tied with Jorge Soto’s 1999 season, but in the bottom of the sixth inning – with Troy trailing 2-0 – Lewis belted a three-run homer to give the Trojans a 3-2 lead. The home run also made Lewis the single season Home Run King in Troy’s history.

“Over the past two, three weeks, pitchers have stayed away from the zone on me,” Lewis said. “I knew the home run was going to come, I knew a mistake was coming, and it was just being ready and prepared for that mistake, and thankfully I was able to put a good swing on it.”

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Appalachian State retook the lead, 5-3, in the top of the seventh on a three-run homer of its own, but Troy rallied in the eighth to score four unanswered runs and secure the series win.

Donovan Whibbs led Troy at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a home run, one RBI and one run. Tremayne Cobb Jr. also went 2-for-4 with a triple and a run.

Kristian Asbury (4-1) got the win on the mound, striking out three batters and giving up no hits or runs in one inning pitched. Noah Manning also earned his 11th save of the season, striking out one batter and giving up no hits or runs. Logan Ross pitched five and 2/3 innings and retired eight batters along with giving up six hits and two earned runs.

On Thursday, Troy started off the series with Appalachian State earning a 3-2 win. The Trojans jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Appalachian State scored a run in the third and one in the fourth to come within one run but the Trojan defense held the Mountaineers scoreless for the final five innings.

Ethan Kavanagh went 2-for-3 at the plate with two RBIs, while Caleb Bartolero went 2-for-4 with a run.

Grayson Stewart (9-2) earned the win on the mound, striking out eight batters and giving up five hits and two earned runs in seven innings pitched. Manning earned the save with one strikeout and no hits or runs given up in his one inning toing the rubber.

Troy remains in third place in the Sun Belt with the series win over the Mountaineers. The Trojans will look to complete the sweep over Appalachian State this afternoon at 2 p.m. at Riddle-Pace Field in the regular season finale.