TROY, Alabama – Troy drove in seven runs on three multi-run home runs on its way to a 14-2 rout of UT Martin on Opening Night Friday at Riddle-Pace Field.
Joey Denison led Troy’s (1-0) very efficient offensive attack with a 3-for-4 night at the plate, driving in four runs on a double and a homer. It was the senior’s 12th career multi-RBI game and his four RBIs tied a career high.
Denison was joined by Rigsby Mosley and Matt Sanders in the home run club - Mosley blasted a three-run shot in the fifth and Sanders went deep for two in the eighth.
Sun Belt Preseason Pitcher of the Year Andrew Crane (1-0) picked up right where he left off last season, striking out seven over five scoreless innings on the mound. Crane extended his regular season consecutive scoreless innings streak to 46.2.
Eight of Troy’s nine starters hit safely, while all nine scored at least one run in the matchup. JUCO transfer Cole Prestegard turned in a two-hit night in his first collegiate start – he drove in two and scored once.
After Crane stepped off the mound, the Trojans turned to a couple of unfamiliar faces to carry them the rest of the way home. Zack Moore, Will Carnley and Jackson Cofer allowed only two combined hits in the final four innings and struck out four batters over that period.
UT Martin (0-1) struggled to piece together any offense, as its one through five-hole batters were held hitless. Dalton Westfall (0-1) suffered the loss for the Skyhawks after allowed five runs on four hits in a 1.2-inning start.
With two on and two outs in the fifth inning, redshirt freshman Rigsby Mosley stepped to the plate and fell behind 0-2 in the count. A few pitches later, Mosley sent a no-doubter deep into the construction zone behind the Riddle-Pace Monster for a three-run homer to effectively blow the game open for the Trojans.
Quotable – Troy head coach Mark Smartt
“It was great to see the offense come through. We’ve struggled to score a lot here over the past few years. Not saying we’ll score 14 every night, but it’s important that our guys got out to a great start tonight.”
Starter Andrew Crane
“I felt good and fresh before the game started. I went out there and trusted myself and these guys made great plays behind me. It’s nice to have a lot of run support and as a pitcher it’s easy to just go out there and throw your game.”
Senior Joey Denison
“It felt so good to be able to get back on the field and help my team get a win. It’s an unexplainable feeling. It’s the first game, so we just have to try and keep the momentum going and feed off each other.”
Sound “Smartt” With Your Friends
• Troy improved to 8-1 in its last nine season openers; with the lone loss coming last season to Xavier.
• Andrew Crane worked five scoreless innings to extend his regular season consecutive scoreless inning streak to 46.2 innings.
• Joey Denison recorded his 27th career multi-hit game with a 3-for-4 night at the plate; he also drove in four runs for his 12th career multi-RBI game. Denison’s 3-hit night was the eighth of his career, while his four RBIs tied a career best.
• Matt Sanders reached with two walks to extend his reached-base streak to nine games, dating back to last season. With his 2-run home run in the eighth inning, Sanders extended his hitting streak to nine games – tying a career-high.
• Troy is now 13-1 all-time under Mark Smartt when scoring 10 or more runs.
• Troy hit three home runs against UT Martin … the Trojans hit three home runs in a game just once all of last season (and no games with more than three home runs). It took Troy until May 13 of last season to hit three homers in a game.
• All nine Troy starters scored a run in the game for the first time since Feb. 16, 2013, against Florida A&M.
Troy will turn around and play a doubleheader against UT Martin Saturday at Riddle-Pace Field, starting at 1 p.m. The Trojans will send CJ Carter and Daren Osby to the mound for starts in the twin bill.