TROY, Ala. – Troy used a seven-run seventh inning to break open a 1-1 game and defeat Samford 8-2 Tuesday night at Riddle-Pace Field to complete the season sweep; the Trojans outscored the Bulldogs 23-6 in the two games.
Troy (30-11) needed just one hit to score its seven runs in the seventh as Samford committed two errors, walked three batters, hit another and allowed two runs to score on a wild pitch.
Ali Knowles got the frame rolling by drawing a leadoff walk and Brandon Brown reached on a throwing error on his sacrifice bunt attempt. Eric Wright then hit Tyler Vaughn to load the bases and Logan Pierce drove a two-run double to right to put Troy in front 3-1.
Danny Collins hit a sharp grounder to short to drive home a run, but the throw to first sailed all the way to right field allowing another run to score and Collins to go to third. Following a strikeout, Josh McDorman drew a walk and Matthew Howard plated Collins with a grounder to short.
Garrett Pitts drew a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch. With Knowles batting, Patrick Maronde threw another wild pitch that reached the Troy dugout and Pitts scored all the way from second and McDorman from third to cap the inning.
Nate Hill kept the Trojans in the game with a pair of escape jobs on the mound in the sixth and seventh innings. The senior southpaw entered in the sixth with runners at second and third and nobody out, he got out of the inning with a comebacker, a strikeout and a grounder to third.
Austin Allison led off the Samford (22-20) seventh with a single and an error on a bunt attempt gave the Bulldogs two runners on with no outs. Pitts made a remarkable catch on a sinking liner but his throw trying to double off Allison was wide allowing both runners to move up a base.
Hill (2-2), who earned the win, got C.K. Irby to line out and, after pitching around Christiaan Durdaller, he struck out Caleb Bryson to end the frame. Hill tossed three innings, allowed just two hits and one run.
Pierce extended his NCAA-leading streak of reaching base safely to 46 games after drawing a walk in the bottom of the first. The Preseason Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year finished 2-for-4 with a pair of runs scored and two RBIs.
Samford broke a scoreless game in the fifth after Tommy Corbin drew a leadoff walk and scored on an Allison single after a sac bunt.
Trae Santos tied the game with a double in the sixth after Pierce and Collins led off the frame with back-to-back singles.
Joe Hernandez gave Troy four strong innings out of the chute on the mound; he allowed just one run on two hits.
Wright (3-3) took the loss for Samford after he allowed five runs – three earned – on seven hits in six innings.
Troy travels to Boca Raton, Fla., this weekend for a big Sun Belt Conference series at Florida Atlantic. The Trojans and Owls enters the series tied for second place in the league and are just one game out of first.
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