TROY, Ala. – The Troy University baseball team hosts No. 2 UL Lafayette in a three-game series set to begin on Friday with a 6 p.m. first pitch. Saturday’s game is set for a 3 p.m. start and will be broadcast on the Sun Belt Network (CSS/CST) and ESPN3.com. Sunday’s finale will begin at 1 p.m. All three games will be broadcast on WTBF 94.7 FM and streamed live on TroyTrojans.com.
UL Lafayette (27-3, 8-1 Sun Belt) enters as the highest-ranked team to play at Riddle-Pace Field since the Trojans moved to Division I in 1994. Troy traveled to play No. 1 Arizona State in 2008 and faced No. 2 Vanderbilt in the Nashville Regional in 2011. Previously, the highest-ranked team to visit Troy was No. 11 Alabama in 1998, an 8-4 Trojan victory.
Troy (16-13, 4-4) is coming off a 7-2 win over UAB in Birmingham on Tuesday. The victory snapped a six-game losing skid to the Blazers and marked the first win over the in-state rival in the Steel City since 2010 and just the second in 10 road contests since 1993.
David Hall continues to pace the Trojans offense with a .357 average. In his last six conference games, Hall is batting .519 with six doubles and eight RBIs. Shortstop Tyler Vaughn has also picked up the pace as of late. The preseason All-American is batting .455 over the last six games with seven RBIs.
On the mound to kick off the series for Troy on Friday will be Tanner Hicks (2-4, 3.35). He will face Sun Belt Conference Preseason Pitcher of the Year Austin Robichaux (4-2, 2.92). On Saturday, 2013 Sun Belt Pitcher of the Year Shane McCain (3-2, 1.93), who sports the league’s best ERA, will square off against Carson Baranik (6-0, 2.28). Ben Tidwell (0-0, 3.42) will get the nod on Sunday while Cody Boutte (3-0, 4.61) will take the ball for the Ragin’ Cajuns.
ULL is coming off a series win over Western Kentucky and a midweek victory over Tulane. The Ragin’ Cajuns are batting .319 as a team with Jace Conrad leading the way with a .364 average and 35 RBIs. UL Lafayette will enter the series winners of 17 of their last 18 games.
Troy leadoff hitter Clay Holcomb enters the game having led off five of the last six games with a base hit. He will also look to extend his seven-game hitting streak while Jo-El Bennett enters the weekend riding a nine-game hitting streak.
ULL holds a 20-12 lead over the Trojans in the all-time series. The series is tied 5-5 in games played at Riddle-Pace Field.