TROY, Ala. – Troy used a seven-run fourth inning and got seven strikeouts from Ryan Sorce to defeat Jacksonville State 8-4 Tuesday night at Riddle-Pace Field; the victory was the Trojans fifth straight over the Gamecocks.
Troy (22-9), who ran its win streak to seven in row at home, sent 11 batters to the plate in the fourth and strung together five hits, including Trae Santos’ eighth homer of the season.
Danny Collins led off the frame with a single to left and Santos crushed a 2-2 offering from Adam Polk over the wall in center field to give Troy a 3-1 lead. Santos has hit six of Troy’s last 10 home runs and has six homers over the past 14 games.
Matthew Howard worked an eight-pitch walk and scored on a double by Josh McDorman to the gap in left-center field. Following a pair of strikeouts, Clay Holcomb doubled home McDorman, stole third and scored on a single by Tyler Vaughn. After Vaughn stole second, Logan Pierce drew a walk and both would score on a dropped pop up by the Jacksonville State shortstop to stretch the Troy lead to 8-1.
Vaughn, Collins, McDorman and Garrett Pitts all had two hits for the Trojans, who pounded out 12 on the night. Vaughn entered the week second in the nation in scoring and added one more run to his total tonight while Pierce extended his reached base streak to 36 games, which is the second longest in the country.
Sorce (4-0), who has picked up the win on four consecutive Tuesday’s, scattered five hits over five innings of work; he allowed just one run. Sorce struck out seven batters and did not issue a walk.
The Gamecocks (16-16) got on the board in the first after Michael Bishop led off the game with an infield single and came around to score on a grounder by Coty Blanchard. Bishop and his brother Andrew Bishop led JSU with two hits each.
Pitts tied the game with a single through the left side of the infield in the second after Howard led off the frame with single and moved into scoring position on a grounder by McDorman.
Jacksonville State scored three runs against the Troy bullpen in the sixth as they put together a pair of hits around three walks.
Thomas Austin, Nate Hill and Matthew Howard all worked a scoreless inning over the final third of the game to close things out for the Trojans.
Polk (2-5) was tagged with the loss after he allowed seven runs – five earned – on five hits in two-thirds of an inning.
The Trojans continue their busy stretch of 10 games in 13 days with a trip to Samford Wednesday night; first pitch is set for 6 p.m.
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