Senior captain Nick Criaris steps in against Troy Friday night.
April 10, 2009
TROY, AL - Troy University scored seven first-inning runs and went on to beat visiting Florida Atlantic University 12-3 Friday night at Riddle-Pace Field.
Troy (20-13; 8-5 Sun Belt) scored eight runs on three doubles and eight hits before the Owls had a base-runner. The Trojans have won 5 of 6 and six straight in Sun Belt play.
FAU starter Mike Gipson threw 34 pitches in a seven-run Trojans' first inning. Trevor Tyre and Steven Felix hit back-to-back two-RBI doubles after Ryan Ditthardt opened up the scoring with a bases-loaded single.
Troy kept up the pressure in the second inning, scoring another on Brett Henry's double before Gipson (2-3) was able to work out of a one-out jam without any further damage.
But Troy had established an 8-0 lead by the time Mesa registered the Owls' first hit in the third inning. Both Travis Ozga and Hatcher provided two-out RBI-singles in the FAU third, which cut the deficit to five, 8-3.
Freshman Ryan Garton - an outstanding prep athlete at J.W. Mitchell High School in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area - was effective in an extended relief role for FAU, retiring the first six batters he faced. Rookie classmate Hugh Adams followed Garton's 2 2/3 scoreless innings with two-hit baseball through 2 1/3.
Despite a notable effort by the Owls' bullpen in mid-relief, the Trojans' fast start was too much to overcome. Troy freshman starter Tyler Ray (4-2) struck out four and allowed four hits and three runs in a winning effort.
With the Trojans leading 9-3, Troy tacked on three more runs off Lou Morey, which included a two-RBI double off the bat of clean-up hitter Micheal Precise.
GAME NOTES: Troy's recently renovated Riddle-Pace Field is completely surfaced with astro-play field turf, the only exception being the pitcher's mound... Riddle-Pace Field will be the site of the 2009 Sun Belt Conference Tournament... OF Jeremy Griffiths had a pinch-hit single in the eighth.