TROY, Ala. – The Troy baseball teams continues its 10-game homestand this weekend with a pair of games against Hartford and one against Southeastern Louisiana at Riddle-Pace Field.
The Trojans will take on Hartford at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and will play Southeastern Louisiana at 2 p.m. on Sunday. Hartford and Southeastern Louisiana will play at 1 p.m. on Saturday and at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
All three of Troy’s games will be broadcast live on the Troy IMG Sports Network with local coverage on 94.7 FM in Troy and free worldwide coverage online at TroyTrojans.com. Fans can also follow the action on TroyTrojans.com with free live stats or with live video via Trojans All-Access.
Troy (8-3) enters the weekend coming off a series victory over Southern Miss, who was ranked No. 24 in the country at the time. The Trojans won the final two games of the series and outscored the Golden Eagles 18-6 over the final 23 innings of the series.
Led by Danny Collins, the Trojans belted five home runs in the series against the Golden Eagles. Collins hit a pair of homers while Peyton Fuller, Jake Harrell and Trae Santos all left the yard once.
Collins entered the week second in the nation with a .526 batting average and 1.053 slugging percentage on the year. The junior slugger also ranked third in RBIs, third in total bases and eighth in home runs.
As a team, the Trojans led the country with a .537 slugging percentage thanks to 48 extra-base hits. Logan Pierce leads Troy and ranks 18th in the nation with six doubles, while Trae Santos is 22nd in triples and 78th in home runs.
The Trojans have been scoring runs in bunches throughout the early portion of their schedule and rank 10th in the NCAA averaging 9.0 runs per game. Leadoff hitter Tyler Vaughn entered the week eighth in the country averaging 1.6 runs per game while Collins and Pierce were tied for 19th.
Junior right-hander Tanner Hicks (2-0, 3.86) will get bumped up to the Friday night slot in the Troy rotation this week after a solid performance in the finale against Southern Miss. Hicks struck out six Golden Eagle batters, allowed just two runs and scattered four hits over six innings in the winning effort.
Will Starling (2-1, 8.25) will start Troy’s game on Saturday against Hartford as he looks to bounce back from a rough outing against Southern Miss. The junior right-hander has struck out 14 batters in just 12 innings of work over three starts.
The Trojans will turn to southpaw Shane McCain (2-0, 4.50) in their lone game against Southeastern Louisiana. McCain turned in a quality start against Southern Miss last weekend with seven strikeouts and three runs allowed over six innings.
Coming into the season the Troy bullpen was expected to be a strength and so far it has been as good as advertised. The 13-man bullpen has a combined 3.33 ERA and has held opponents to a .256 batting average. Matthew Howard and Nate Hill both have five appearances to lead the group; Howard has struck out 11 batters, scattered just four hits and has not allowed a run in 8.1 innings, while Hill has eight strikeouts over 7.0 innings of work.
Hartford (0-8) wraps up a 12-game road swing to open its season with the trip to Troy; the Hawks have opened the season with a pair of four-game series at Campbell and James Madison. Trey Stover has gotten off to a solid start for Hatford as he enters the weekend batting at a .385 clip with a pair of RBIs.
Brian Hunter (0-2, 5.23) is scheduled to get the start in the opener for the Hawks; the junior-right hander has held opponents to a .205 batting average over his first two starts. Hartford will send sophomore southpaw Sean Newcomb (0-1, 11.37) to the bump in game two. Newcomb has struck out 11 batters in just 6.1 innings of work.
The Lions (8-4), who have averaged 38 wins over the past three seasons, come to Troy following a pair of close losses (2-0, 6-2) at No. 7 Ole Miss on Tuesday and Wednesday. SLU swept a three-game series from Texas Southern last weekend including a 9-0 victory in the finale that saw Jordan Hymel throw a no-hitter. Hymel (1-1, 4.70) will start for the Lions against the Trojans on Sunday.
Harry Slade leads the SLU offense with a .415 batting average, two doubles and a home run. The Lions enter the weekend averaging 4.4 runs per game while the pitching staff boasts a 3.46 ERA.