TROY, Ala. – South Alabama rallied past Troy for the second straight night as the Jaguars defeated the Trojans 7-5 Saturday night at Riddle-Pace Field to claim the Sun Belt Conference series. Troy will look to salvage a game in the series tomorrow at 1 p.m. in the finale of the three-game set.
Trailing 5-4, the Jaguars (17-3, 2-0 Sun Belt) opened the fifth inning with three straight hits, including back-to-back doubles by Jordan Patterson and Nolan Early; Early’s tied the game at 5-5. Dustin Dalken followed with a sac fly to give South Alabama the lead and Hayden Jones tacked on an insurance run with a single.
The Trojans (11-6, 0-2) took the lead as they scored five unanswered runs after the Jaguars scored three in the top of the first for the second straight night. Tyler Vaughn led off the home half of the first with a single and Logan Pierce followed with a double to left center. Danny Collins cashed in the pair with a single to right center and Peyton Fuller drove home Collins following a single and a sac bunt.
Collins and Santos hit back-to-back RBI singles in the second to give Troy a 5-3 lead. Vaughn reached on a two-out error by Jones at third and Pierce kept the inning alive with a single to right center. Collins lined his single to left and Santos drove his run-producing hit to right field.
Vaughn, Pierce, Collins and Santos each had two hits to account for all of Troy’s eight hits in the game. Collins drove in three runs to push his season total to 27, while Pierce moved into a tie for eighth place with Bryan Miller with his 30th career double.
South Alabama cut into the lead in the fourth on a two-out single to center by Graham Odom after Jones drew a walk. Patterson and Early both had three hits for the Jaguars while Dalken and Whitt Dorsey added two each.
Dylan Stamey replaced South Alabama starter Brandon Boyle in the fourth inning and held the Trojans to just one hit over 4.1 innings. Stamey (4-0), who picked up the win, struck out five and walked one. Kyle Bartsch worked a perfect ninth for his sixth save of the season.
Will Starling (3-2) took the loss for Troy after he was charged with six runs on nine hits in four innings of work. Nate Hill worked the final five innings on the mound for the Trojans and struck out eight South Alabama batters; he allowed a run on five hits.