BIRMINGHAM – After jumping out to a big early lead over Samford on Tuesday night, the Trojans had to rally late to take an 11-9 victory over the Bulldogs.
Troy improved to 16-12 on the year with the victory while Samford falls to 17-11. The teams split their season series, with both winning on the others’ home field.
The Trojans wasted no time in jumping on Samford on Tuesday. Bulldogs starter Charles Terry (0-1) struggled with his control in his first start, opening the door for Troy to score twice in the first inning on just one hit.
Dayne Cutrell came in for Samford in the second inning and the Trojans roughed him up as well. Four hits in the inning for Troy included a two-run homer by Steven Felix, his fifth homer in as many games, as the Trojans scored six times to take an 8-0 lead.
Presented the big early lead, Troy starter Nick Ward was unable to get through five innings and the Trojan bullpen was unable to hold the lead. Samford scored a single run in the fourth inning and two more in the fifth to chase Ward.
The Bulldogs then put up a five spot in the sixth inning against a trio of Troy pitchers to tie the score at 8-8. Run scoring doubles by Byron Soler and Stephen Ballard got things going and then Trey Hayes delivered a two-run double to tie the game.
The Trojans came right back to regain the lead with three runs in the seventh inning. A sacrifice fly by Blake Martz scored one to put Troy back on top and then Adam Bryant delivered a two-run double for some insurance.
Chase Whitley, who had four hits in the game for the Trojans, had to come on to pitch in the seventh and worked the final three innings for his third save of the year. The only blip for Whitley was a leadoff homer by Hayes in the ninth. It was the third solo homer Whitley has allowed this year, two by Hayes.
Freshman Cass Abercrombie got the win for Troy, his first of the year, despite pitching just a third of an inning. Sean Handlan (0-1) was the sixth of nine pitchers in the game for Samford and took the loss.
In addition to Whitley’s four hits, Bryant had two and drove in three runs for Troy. Hayes had three hits and drove in four to lead Samford.
The Trojans will be back in action on Friday when they open a three-game Sun Belt Conference series at Louisiana Lafayette.