TROY, Ala. – The Troy baseball team will travel to Pensacola, Fla., to take on in-state rival Alabama in the Cox Diamond Invitational. The game will be played at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium; first pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. The game will be broadcast on WTBF 94.7 FM and on Cox Sports TV. Live audio and stats will be available on TroyTrojans.com
The Trojans (14-10, 3-2 SBC) are coming off a series win over ULM over the weekend. In Sunday's series finale, Troy recorded nine doubles in a 19-3 win to set a new team single-game record. David Hall finished the game 5-for-5 with a pair of doubles, a grand slam and six RBIs. Jo-El Bennett was 3-for-5 with a three-run home run and five RBIs.
Alabama (15-8, 3-3 SEC) fell to Arkansas on the road in two of three weekend games. The Crimson Tide had won 10 of 11 games entering that series.
Troy's David Hall enters the game with hits in eight consecutive at bats, just one shy of tying Tom King's record of nine straight hits set in 2006. Hall opened the season having reached base in 14 consecutive plate appearances earning him Sun Belt Conference Player of the Week honors. Hall leads the Trojans in batting (.377), doubles (8) and RBIs (17). He is tied for the team lead with Jo-El Bennett and Trevin Hall with five home runs. As a team, the Trojans have hit 24 home runs in as many games this season.
Right-hander William Shell (3-1, 3.20) will get his first career start on the mound for Troy. Shell has been solid out of the bullpen in 11 appearances. The senior has recorded 12 strikeouts in 19 2/3 innings and has held opposing hitters to a .197 average.
Alabama will send right-handed freshman Nick Eicholtz (1-0, 1.09) to the bump. Eicholtz has tossed 24 2/3 innings this season and allowed just three earned runs and struck out 24 batters.
Austen Smith leads the Crimson Tide at the plate with a .356 average, three home runs and 21 RBIs. George Salem is also turning in a stellar season with a .323 average and five doubles.
Alabama holds an 18-10 advantage over Troy all-time, but the Trojans lead the series 3-2 at neutral sites including a pair of wins last season at the NCAA Tallahassee Regional.