*From Troy Media Relations*
TROY, Ala. – After six straight Sun Belt Conference road games, the Troy baseball team hosts UALR in a three-game league series this weekend at Riddle-Pace Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. on Friday and 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The battle between the two sets of Trojans opens the second half of Sun Belt Conference play with 15 league games already in the books. Troy enters the weekend in a tie for fourth place in the Sun Belt, but the Trojans are just two games back of first place.
All three games will be broadcast live on the Troy IMG Sports Network with local coverage on 94.7 FM in Troy and worldwide coverage online and on smartphones at TroyTrojans.com/showcase. Fans can watch the games live via Trojans All-Access and find live stats for the games at TroyTrojans.com
Troy (26-11, 8-7 Sun Belt) continues to light up the scoreboard as the Trojans enter the weekend second in nation in scoring averaging 8.2 runs per game. Troy is second in the NCAA in doubles per game, second in slugging percentage, fifth in hits and 15th in home runs.
Junior slugger Danny Collins is third in the country with 52 RBIs, while ranking sixth in doubles, sixth in scoring and eighth in slugging percentage. Junior shortstop Tyler Vaughn is second in the NCAA with 51 runs scored and is the fifth toughest player in the country to strikeout, just once every 19.5 at-bats.
Preseason Sun Belt Player of the Year Logan Pierce is eighth in the country in scoring, 18th in batting average and 25th in doubles. Junior first baseman Trae Santos enters the weekend seventh in RBIs and 11th in home runs.
Troy will mix up its starting rotation this weekend with the only constant being junior right-hander Tanner Hicks (4-2, 4.21) getting the call in the opener on Friday. Hicks turned in his best performance of the season last weekend at Western Kentucky; he held the Hilltoppers scoreless over his first seven innings of work and struck out eight batters.
Junior left-hander Shane McCain (6-0, 3.81) moves into the Saturday spot after starting on Sunday all season. McCain enters the weekend 15th in the NCAA with an 8.0 strikeout-to-walk ratio and 32nd with just 1.16 walks per nine innings.
Senior southpaw Ryan Sorce (4-0, 2.70) moves into the rotation this weekend after three straight strong mid-week starts. Sorce has struck out 25 batters and allowed just five earned runs over his last 22.2 innings of work.
UALR (18-18, 5-10) comes to Troy coming off a doubleheader sweep at No. 13 Oklahoma on Tuesday; the Trojans held the Sooners to a combined five runs in the sweep.
Preseason Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year Chance Cleveland (4-5, 3.00) leads the UALR pitching staff. Cleveland will get the start on Friday, senior right-hander Blake Huffman (4-2, 3.09) will get the call on Saturday and junior southpaw Travis McDonald (1-1, 2.70) will go on Sunday. McDonald made his first start of the season on Tuesday at Oklahoma.
UALR leads the Sun Belt with 35 home runs as a team and ranks second behind Troy with 93 doubles. Blake Johnson’s .325 batting average and six homers pace UALR while Ben Crumton has a team-leading 15 doubles and 18 stolen bases.