TROY, Ala. – Troy got a solid start from freshman Levi Tate and the Trojan bats woke up late in a 7-2 victory over Jackson State Wednesday night at Riddle-Pace Field.
Tate (1-0) did not allow a hit over his four innings of work and struck out three around a pair of walks in his first career start. Ryan Brady and Ryan Sorce threw a of scoreless frame each out of the bullpen and Thomas Austin picked up his first save of the season as he closed out the final two innings; Austin’s appearance was the 75th of his career which tied him with Drew Hull for the all-time Troy mark.
The Trojans (6-2) broke open a 2-1 game with a pair of runs in the seventh and three in the eighth. Tyler Vaughn extended his hit streak to 10 games with a one-out single in the seventh and Danny Collins blasted his second home run of the season down the line in left field to give Troy a 5-1 lead.
Chase Mathis led off the Troy eighth with an infield single and Josh McDorman followed with a double off the wall in right center. Garrett Pitts made it back-to-back doubles as he drove home Mathis. Jake Harrell plated the second run of the inning with a sacrifice fly to left and Clay Holcomb pushed a single back up the middle to score Pitts and give Troy a 7-1 advantage.
Pitts finished with a career-high three hits in his three at-bats and also drew a walk. McDorman went 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored while Harrell drove in two runs. Logan Pierce extended his hit streak to 12 games with a double in the third inning.
Troy jumped out to an early lead on a Harrell double in the second following a walk and stolen base by McDorman. The Trojans picked up an unearned run in the sixth when Trae Santos scored on a single by Pitts after he singled and moved to second on a throwing error by the Tigers (2-6).
Aneko Knowles cut the Troy lead in half with a two-out single in the seventh after Ethan Bright led off the frame with a single. Jackson State’s final run of the game came in the top of the ninth on a sac fly from Jose Cruz.
Brandon Gregory (1-2) was tagged with the loss for Jackson State as he allowed a run on three hits over four innings; Gregory walked four Troy batters.
Troy continues its four-game homestand with a three-game series against No. 24 Southern Miss this weekend at Riddle-Pace Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.