*Courtesy Troy Media Relations
TROY, Ala. – The Troy University baseball team will host South Alabama in a three-game series beginning Thursday as both team wrap up the regular season. All three games are set for 6 p.m. starts and will be carried on WTBF 94.7 FM and TroyTrojans.com. Saturday’s finale will be broadcast on the Sun Belt Network (CSS/CST).
The Trojans (22-29, 9-17 Sun Belt) are coming off a series loss to Arkansas State while UL Lafayette swept the Jaguars last weekend. The teams spit a rain-shortened series in mid-March with Troy taking the opener on the back of Tanner Hicks’ shutout.
Shane McCain (4-4, 3.31) will open the series on the mound for Troy. The senior southpaw is now second all-time in career strikeouts after recorded six in a 2-1 victory over ASU last Friday, he enters the series with 263 career punch outs.
Tanner Hicks (2-9, 4.82) is scheduled to take the ball in game two while Saturday’s starter is to be determined.
The Jaguars (21-29, 10-16) will counter with LHP James Traylor on Thursday and LHP Locke St. John on Friday. Traylor (1-2, 2.67) has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen but has been effective in 18 appearances. The junior has pitched 33 2.3 innings and struck out 36 batters while recording three saves. St. John (6-2, 3.32) has been South Alabama’s most consistent starter, pitching a team-high 84 innings.
David Hall will look to continue his hot hitting. Through 51 games, he is batting .349 with nine home runs and 45 RBIs; all team highs. Hall is also batting .568 (21-37) in Troy’s nine Sun Belt series finales this season.
Garrett Pitts enters hitting .571 with a .657 on-base percentage in Troy’s last seven home games.
One of the most welcomed surprises this season has been the effectiveness of freshman reliever Marc Skinner. The right-hander leads the league with a 1.61 ERA (0.32 over his last 15 games) and has allowed just one earned run in his last 28 innings pitched. Skinner has recorded 59 strikeouts in 56 innings of work.
Jakob Nixon has been solid of late as well; he enters the series looking to extend his 12-game reached base streak.
The Trojans have won 95 of its last 128 games at Riddle-Pace Field. South Alabama owns a 40-32 advantage in the all-time series, but Troy has won 19 of 33 at home.
Troy will honor its 11 senior in a pregame ceremony on Saturday.
With many scenarios still alive in the chase for the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championships, Troy needs to likely win two games in the series to guarantee its spot in the tournament set to begin next week in Mobile.