Kavanagh’s ninth inning single lifts Troy over Samford

Published 12:01 pm Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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The Troy Trojans (26-12) picked up a 10-8 win over the Samford Bulldogs (24-12) in Birmingham on Tuesday due in part to Ethan Kavanagh’s late game heroics.

With the score tied 8-8 in the top of the ninth inning, Kavanagh drilled an RBI single into left field to drive both Aidan Gilroy and Kole Meyers home for what would be the winning runs.

Samford batters grounded out in back-to-back hits to open the bottom of the ninth. Samford then managed to get a runner on first due to an error. Trojan pitcher Noah Manning closed the game by striking out the next batter for the third out.

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“Samford has one heck of a ball club. It was a back-and-forth battle throughout, and thankfully, we were tough enough,” Troy Coach Skylar Meade said. “Kavanagh executed well enough, and ‘The Ringer’ (Manning) had excellent pitches in the eighth and ninth to close the game. I think it’s undervalued how important it was to see (Samford’s Garrett) Howe pop up. It might have brought the tying run in, but that guy is dangerous, and we limited him. It allowed us to have that rally late, and the juice was good. We battled travel, traffic and had multiple long road trips. But we did what we needed to do to get the win against a quality team.”

Kavanagh led Troy at the plate, going 3-for-6 with two RBIs and one run. Myers went 2-for-5 with four runs, while Brooks Bryan went 2-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs. Tremayne Cobb Jr. also went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run.

Manning earned the win on the mound, striking out two batters and giving up no hits or runs in one and 2/3 innings pitched. Michael Osmond and Clete Hartzog both struck out three batters, while Connor Burt struck out four.

Samford was led at the plate by Angelo Prieto, who went 2-for-5 with a double and a run. John Anderson also went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI, while Garrett Howe earned four RBIs and a triple. Miller Riggins took the loss on the mound, giving up two hits and one earned run in one inning pitched.

Troy’s back at home Wednesday night at 6 p.m. against Jacksonville State. Troy beat Jacksonville State 18-10 back on April 3.