Helman blanks Piqua, Fogarty homers in Troy MVL win


TROY — Both Troy pitcher Andrew Helman and Piqua pitcher Brayden Offenbacher threw well enough to win Thursday night on the Market Street diamond.

But, the Trojans were able to make most of their four hits to come away with a 3-0 victory over the Indians.

Troy improved to 14-7 overall and 12-4 in the MVL, while Piqua dropped to 11-11 overall and 8-10 in the MVL.

Helman threw just 89 pitches, allowing four hits and striking out six and walking one.

“That is our first complete game of the season,” Troy coach Ty Welker said. “In the past, we have been a team with pitchers who could do that (on a regular basis). That is the kind of performance we have been looking for. Andrew (Helman) threw a gem.”

Offenbacher was impressive as well.

He used 112 pitches and got stronger as the game went on, striking out five of the last six batters he faced. He also pitched a four-hitter. with seven strikeouts and two walks.

“Absolutely, Brayden (Offenbacher) pitched a great game,” Piqua coach Brad Lavey said. “We just didn’t give him the offensive support.”

And, while Troy’s offense wasn’t what Welker would like to see, it was enough on this night.

“Our goal is one run an inning,” Welker said. “If you do that, you have a good chance of winning. We did that early. We want to have that mentality of knocking that pitcher out (of the game). Sometimes, I don’t think we have that.”

Troy got on the board in the second inning.

Eli Smith singled, moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt and ended up scoring on Ryder Kirtley’s sacrifice fly to left field. It was a close play at the plate, but he was able to elude the tag of Piqua catcher Zander Mason.

The Trojans added two more runs in the third.

First, Caleb Fogarty blasted a home run to make it 2-0.

“Caleb (Fogarty) continues to swing a hot bat,” Welker said. “We know he is capable of that.”

Connor Hutchinson was hit by a pitch with one out, stole second and ended up scoring on a wild pitch on ball four to Eli Donnan.

“Those are the kinds of things you have to do,” Welker said about manufacturing runs. “And we were able to do that tonight.”

Piqua’s best chance to score came in the second inning.

Blane Ouhl had a leadoff double and after Trent Rudd reached on an error, the Indians had runner on second and third, before Helman ended the threat with two strikeouts.

“We have to do a better job than that,” Lavey said. “When you have guys in scoring position, you have to put the bat on the ball.”

The two teams were scheduled to play against Friday at Hardman Field.

“Piqua is a scrappy team,” Welker said. “We don’t take them lightly by any means.”

And Lavey said it is good to get another shot so quickly.

“Our kids are competitive and they want to win,” he said.

You would expect nothing less when it comes to Troy-Piqua — whether on the diamond or in any other sport.

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