TROY, Ala. – Troy reliever Marc Skinner has turned in a fabulous freshman campaign and his solid work continued on Thursday night as the right-hander pitched 2 2/3 innings of relief to close the door in the Trojans 6-5 win over South Alabama at Riddle-Pace Field.
Skinner has now allowed just one earned run in his last 30 2/3 innings on the mound. While leading the team with five saves, Skinner also picked up the victory to tie Shane McCain with a team-high four wins on the season. The freshman, with 29 appearances, has made the fifth most in a single season in Troy history. His 1.53 earned run average ranks fifth on the all-time single-season list.
The win, coupled with Georgia State’s loss Western Kentucky, propels Troy into seventh place in the Sun Belt Conference standings. The top eight teams in the league qualify for the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championships set to begin next week in Mobile.
McCain got the start on the mound and was solid until he ran into trouble in the seventh. South Alabama loaded the bases with one out and scored a run on Bud Collura’s infield hit. Skinner then took over on the bump and surrendered the game-tying run on a sacrifice fly. McCain finished the game allowing four runs on nine hits and struck out four batters.
The Trojans got offensive contributions up and down the lineup as they touched up South Alabama starter James Traylor for four runs in five innings of work. Troy took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the first on Trevin Hall’s two-RBI double to left-center field. Clay Holcomb led off the frame with a double and later scored on a Garrett Pitts double. Nick Masonia walked and scored of Hall’s hit.
Hall extended Troy’s lead in the third with his third RBI of the game on a solo home run to left, his seventh of the season. The Jaguars then pushed across a run in the fourth when Matt Wojciechowski doubled with one out and Erik Hindon singled one batter later.
After South Alabama tied the game in the seventh, Nick Masonia blasted a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left-center to hand the Trojans the lead for good. David Hall plated the game’s deciding run in the eighth with an RBI single. The Jaguars tacked on a run in the ninth on a ground ball from Collura.
Jakob Nixon finished with two hits to extend his reached base streak to 13 games. Pitts, David Hall and Trevin Hall would all collect two hits each.
Troy and South Alabama will play the middle game of the series Friday at 6 p.m. Sunday’s finale is also scheduled for a 6 p.m. start and will be broadcast on the Sun Belt Network (CSS/CST).