Diamond Trojans wrap regular season home this weekend vs. Jaguars
TROY, Ala. (troytrojans.com) – Troy baseball concludes the regular season with a three-game series against No. 23 South Alabama at Riddle-Pace Field, beginning Thursday at 6 p.m.
Friday’s game is also slated for 6 p.m., and Saturday’s game will begin at 1 p.m., with senior day festivities taking place before first pitch. All three games can be heard live on WTBF 94.7 FM or at TroyTrojans.com/watch for free and can be seen at TroyTrojans.com/watch.
Troy (30-23, 15-12 Sun Belt) won all three games against Georgia State last weekend. It was the Trojans first three-game Sun Belt sweep on the road since 2011, when they did it against Arkansas State in Jonesboro, Ark., on April 1-3.
The bats were on fire last weekend as Troy outscored Georgia State 29-8, in large part to Steven Whitaker, who had seven RBIs in the Georgia State series, including a career-high five RBIs in one day.
Troy is led by Joey Denison, who has a .325 batting average, 29 RBIs and a team-high five home runs and 14 doubles. Denison had two doubles in the Georgia State series. Matt Sanders leads the team in batting average (.329) and Chase Smartt has contributed a team-high 30 RBIs this season.
The Trojans’ pitching rotation will feature Grant Bennett on Thursday, Lucas Brown on Friday and Houston Mabray on Saturday. Brown is the only starting pitcher in the Sun Belt with a sub-2.00 ERA. He has a 1.99 overall ERA with a 1.68 ERA when facing Sun Belt opponents.
Brown has a 4-3 record when facing Sun Belt opponents and a 2.83 ERA in conference play. He has a team-high 46 Sun Belt strikeouts. Mabray picked up his first career Sun Belt win with a seven-inning complete game. He enters with a 3.40 overall ERA with 26 strikeouts and only 13 walks in 53 innings pitched.
South Alabama (37-16, 20-7 Sun Belt) enters dropping its final home series to UL Lafayette last weekend. The Jaguars show a real team effort when it comes to offense and have five different category leaders in batting average, doubles, home runs, RBIs and stolen bases.
Kevin Hill leads South Alabama on the mound with an 8-1 record and will get the start on Thursday night. He enters with 104.1 innings pitched and 114 strikeouts. Randy Bell will start on Friday, while Austin Bembnowski will toe the rubberon Saturday.
South Alabama leads the overall series 41-35, but Troy leads 21-15 when playing at Riddle-Pace Field. The two teams met once last season due to poor field conditions caused by inclement weather. Troy won the lone game, 2-1, in 11 innings.