#6 Troy Handles #3 FIU at SBC Tournament, 4-1
It was turn back the clock day at the Sun Belt Conference baseball tournament in Bowling Green, KY Thursday.
Troy right hander Tyler Ray, who carried a 4-5 record with a 5.55 ERA into Thursday’s game with FIU, looked an awful lot like the Tyler Ray who was the Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year in 2011.
Ray scattered six hits in a complete game victory as #6 seeded Troy scored five times in the final two innings to top #3 FIU 6-1 at Bowling Green Ballpark.
Ray’s only blemish came in the fifth inning on a single by Julius Gaines, a sacrffice and an two-out RBI single by Nathan Burns. He walked three and struck out five after getting out of a bases loaded situation in the first inning.
Troy (27-29, 1-0) got a second inning home run from third baseman Danny Collins, his 12th of the year, but that was all the Trojans could muster against Panthers’ starter Michael Ellis through seven innings.
The Trojans got to reliever Eddy Pidermann (8-4) in the eighth inning. Chase Mathis opened the inning with a single and scored on Logan Pierce’s double into the right-center field gap. Collins singled Pierce home, but Collins was called for interference on Boone Shear’s ground ball for a double play. Jakob Nixon then followed with his fourth homer of the season to give the Ray more than enough runs.
The Trojans added two insurance runs in the ninth on a pair of bases loaded walks off reliever Christian Malbrough.
Troy will now play #2 seed Arkansas State (1-0) Friday at 3pm. FIU (31-24, 0-1) will take on #7 seed Middle Tennessee Friday morning at 11am.