TROY, Ala. – Will Starling struck out eight batters over five shutout innings to lead Troy past Hartford 8-1 Saturday night at Riddle-Pace Field. Logan Pierce led the Trojan offense with four hits, including a triple, and two RBIs.
Starling (3-1) scattered three hits – two of which didn’t leave the infield – around a pair of walks to pick up the victory for the Trojans. Thomas Austin followed with two scoreless frames before Robert Price and Austin Sullivan closed out the game with an inning each.
Troy (10-3) broke through against Hartford starter Sean Newcomb with three runs in the fourth. The Trojans loaded the bases after Peyton Fuller led off the frame with a single, Jake Harrell walked and Josh McDorman beat out a bunt single. Clay Holcomb drove home the first run of the game with a fielder’s choice and a balk by Newcomb plated the second run. Following the second out of the inning, Pierce lined a single into right to score Holcomb.
Pierce finished 4-for-5 with two RBIs and a pair of runs scored. Kyle Brown was 2-for-5 with a two-run double and McDorman added two hits in three at-bats.
The Trojans broke the game open in the sixth with four runs in the frame as they sent nine batters to the plate. McDorman got the inning rolling with a leadoff single and Vaughn followed with a one out single to center. Pierce drove home McDorman with a single to right and Vaughn scored on an error that would have ended the inning. Brown made the Hawks (0-11) pay for the mistake as he lined a double into left-center field to clear the bases and give Troy a 7-0 lead.
Pierce led off the eighth with a triple to left center and scored on a Danny Collins grounder to second. The Hawks avoided the shutout as Ryan Lukach scored on a double play ball in the ninth inning. Chris DelDebbio and Brian Hunter had two hits each for Hartford.
Newcomb (0-2) was tagged with the loss for Hartford after he allowed three runs on three hits in 3.1 innings of work; he struck out three and walked five.
The Trojans wrap up their weekend play Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. against Southeastern Louisiana.