TROY, Ala. – Shane McCain and Matthew Howard combined for a three-hitter with 10 strikeouts as Troy defeated Southeastern Louisiana 3-1 Sunday afternoon at Riddle-Pace Field.
McCain (3-0) went seven innings to start the game for the Trojans and held the Lions to just three hits, while striking out a career-high nine batters without issuing a walk. Howard struck out one and did not allow a hit over the final two innings to pick up his second save of the year. The pair retired the final 16 Southeastern Louisiana batters of the ballgame; SLU entered the game with a top 10 RPI.
Trae Santos drove home the game-winner with a one-out single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Logan Pierce got the frame rolling with a single and Danny Collins drew a walk. Facing southpaw Matt Pittari out of the SLU bullpen, the left-handed hitting Santos hit a line drive off the wall in right field to score Pierce. Kyle Brown followed with a single back up the middle off Dylan Hills to give Troy a 3-1 advantage.
Collins finished 3-for-3 on the afternoon with a pair of doubles; the junior is now batting .511 with six doubles, two triples, five home runs, 23 RBIs and a 1.043 slugging percentage for the year.
Pierce and Josh McDorman both had two hits in four at-bats as the Trojans (11-3) out-hit the Lions (10-5) 12-3 in the game.
Troy looked to blow things open early against Jordan Hymel, who threw a no-hitter in his last outing. Tyler Vaughn led off the game with a triple down the line in left field and Pierce quickly cashed him in with a single back up the middle.
Collins followed with a double down the line in right field and Santos was hit by a pitch to load the bases with nobody out. Brown flied out to mid-range right-center field and Pierce was thrown out at the plate trying to tag up. Hymel got a grounder to short to wiggle out of the jam.
The Lions tied the game in the second on a single back up the middle by Sam Roberson following a double to left-center field by Jameson Fisher. Fisher was the final base runner of the game for SLU with a single in the fourth.
Hymel (1-2) was tagged with the loss for the Lions after he was charged with two runs on 10 hits in 6.1 innings of work.
The victory clinched a 3-0 weekend for the Trojans who defeated Hartford on Friday and Saturday. Troy’s three starting pitchers combined to throw 18 innings over the three games and allowed just four runs and 10 hits while striking out 22.
Pierce finished the weekend batting at a .615 clip (8-for-13) with three runs scored and five RBIs. McDorman and Collins were both 4-for-9 and Brown was 5-for-14 in his first action of the season.
The Trojans host UAB on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Riddle-Pace Field before opening Sun Belt Conference play next weekend at home against South Alabama.
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