MOBILE, Ala. – The Troy Trojans carried a bag full of hot bats to Mobile and broke them out early against in-state rival South Alabama, blasting the Jaguars 17-0 in the first game of the final Sun Belt Conference series of the season.
The win for the Trojans was their first shutout since a 4-0 victory over UALR on April 18, 2008, and was the most lopsided game in the long series between Troy and South Alabama.
Troy improved to 31-22 overall and 15-13 in Sun Belt play with the win while dropping South Alabama to 30-24 overall, and 16-12 in league play.
Troy exploded out of the gate, plating six runs in the first inning to chase USA starter D.D. Hanks (9-6) after just two-thirds of an inning. Adam Bryant led off the game with a homer, his fifth to leadoff a game and 19th overall.
From there Hanks hit a batter, walked one and gave up two singles before Miles Hoyle hit an opposite field grand slam.
Hoyle struck again in the second, blasting a three-run homer off reliever Jarrett Bailey.
Troy blew the game wide open in the third inning, scoring six more runs. A three-run homer by Chase Whitley got the inning started. After a Todd McRae single and two walks, J.R. Myers was hit by a pitch to plate a run and then Chad Watson followed with a two-run single.
Myers got into the party in the sixth inning when he blasted a solo homer.
Troy added a run in the ninth when Blake Martz was hit by a pitch from Shane Leblanc, the fifth of six Jaguars hurlers, to open the inning. Ryan Ditthardt followed with a double off the top of the wall in left, moving Martz to third, and Jake Sullivan followed with a sacrifice fly.
Senior Andrew Dickinson (6-5) was the beneficiary of the Troy offensive fireworks. He worked an easy six innings against the Jags, allowing just three hits while walking two and striking out five.
A.J. Howard, Bart Pettus and Jordan Mathers worked an inning each to close out the game.
Troy’s 16-hit attack was led by Bryant, Whitley, McRae and Hoyle with three hits each. Taylor White had three of the five Jaguars hits in the game.
Troy batters were hit a season-high six times in the game.
The Trojans and Jags will get together again on Saturday at Eddie Stanky Field, with the first pitch set for 6 p.m. Sophomore right-hander Tyler Ray (7-3, 5.12) will square off with USA senior left-hander Lance Baxter (6-2, 4.06).