TROY, Ala. – Troy got a quality start from Shane McCain and Peyton Fuller had three hits and two doubles in his first career start to lead Troy past No. 24 Southern Miss 6-3 Saturday afternoon at Riddle-Pace Field.
McCain and Southern Miss starter Jake Drehoff were locked into a scoreless pitcher’s dual over the first five innings of the game before both offenses combined for seven runs in the sixth inning.
Blake Brown broke the scoreless tie with a two-out, two-run home run over the wall in right-center field to give the Golden Eagles the lead. Following a single, Chase Fowler doubled into the gap in left center to extend the advantage to 3-0. McCain buckled down to strikeout Breck Kline to close out the inning.
The Trojans (7-3) rewarded McCain with four runs in the bottom of the frame to put the win on his tally. Logan Pierce drew a one-out walk and Danny Collins followed with a single to right center to put runners on the corners. Trae Santos then ripped a double into right center for his 17th RBI of the season.
With the tying run at second and still just one out in the inning, Jake Harrell torched a Cameron Giannini offering to center field to clear the bases and tie the game at 3-all. A walk to Josh McDorman and a single by Fuller loaded the bases for Brandon Brown. The Troy catcher legged out a bunt single that allowed pinch runner Jakob Nixon to score the go-ahead run.
Fuller, a redshirt freshman, finished 3-for-4 on the afternoon with an RBI as he drove home an insurance run in the eighth with a double down the line in left to score McDorman. Pierce extended his hit streak to 14 games with a single in the first inning.
Collins was 2-for-3 with a pair of runs scored and the junior slugger gave the Trojans some breathing room with a towering home run to left-center field with two outs in the seventh. It was Collins’ third homer of the season and second of the weekend.
Matthew Howard took over for McCain in the seventh and retired nine of the 11 batters he faced to pick up the first save of his Troy career. McCain (2-0) logged Troy’s first quality start of the season as he went six innings with three runs allowed on eight hits.
Giannini (1-1) was tagged with the loss for the Golden Eagles (6-4) after he allowed the game-winning run and three hits in two-thirds of an inning. Drehoff finished with four hits and three runs allowed in 5.1 innings. Dillon Day and Brown both finished with two hits each for Southern Miss.
The teams will meet at 1 p.m. on Sunday in the rubber game of the series. Right-hander Tanner Hicks will start for the Trojans while the Golden Eagles will counter with southpaw Mason Robbins.
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