Troy baseball advances with a 1-0 win over West Carrollton


TROY — The Troy baseball team came in as the seventh seed and a 16-10 record as it hosted 18th seed West Carrollton, who came in 4-16.

But, Troy coach Ty Welker knew you could throw the record out — after all, West Carollton had split with the Trojans during the season.

“Their seed is really deceiving,” Welker said. “They have two really good arms. Those kids from West Carrollton scrapped the whole game.”

But Zach Prouty had a big hit to break a scoreless tied in the fifth inning and Troy sophomore righthander Brian Allen took care of the rest, blanking the Pirates on one-hit in a 1-0 Troy victory.

The Trojans will now play fifth seed Franklin at Franklin City Park Thursday at 5 p.m.

“This was a team win,” Welker said. “Everybody was into the game. Everybody was up in the dugout, which was good to see.”

While Troy had two baserunners in the second and third, they were without a hit going to the bottom of the fifth in the scoreless game.

“We had some chances and just weren’t able to get guys in,” Welker said. “And West Carrollton made some great plays on defense. This was probably one of their best defensive games.

Cameron Ekberg pitched the first three innings for West Carrollton, before Jacob Hudepohl came in in the fourth inning and finished up.

Troy had both its hits in the fifth inning after two were out.

Ryder Kirtley had a single and stole second.

“Ryder (Kirtley) had the big hit and I knew we were going to steal as soon as he got on,” Welker said.

That set the stage for senior first baseman Prouty.

He drilled a double down the first base line to score Kirtley with what would be the game’s only run.

“Brian (Allen) was pitching one heck of a game,” Prouty said. “We just needed to get a big hit. I knew that was past (the first baseman) when I hit it. And they hadn’t mowed the grass out there (in right field) for awhile. I knew that was two (a double) when I hit it. It feels great to get a big hit like that and keep us going in the tournament.”

In the sixth inning, Chase Hunt reached on an error for West Carrollton to start the inning.

After shortstop Kirtley made a long running catch in short left field for the first out, Troy catcher Owen Harlamert threw a strike down to Kirtley at second to gun down Hunt trying to steal.

“Last game, Brian (Allen) had struggled with holding runners on and getting to the plate quickly,” Welker said. “Today, he got the plate quickly and Owen Harlamert threw him out by a step and a half. That was a big play.”

As Troy batted in the home sixth, Allen paced nervously in the dugout.

“My adrenaline was flowing,” Allen said. “I was just wanted to go out there in the seventh inning and finish.”

And he did it in impressive style.

After getting West Carrollton’s first two batters on called third strikes, the Pirates Carson Jacobs ended up at second base after he reach on an error.

Allen finished the game off with a third called strike three of the inning, his 14th strikeout of the game.

“It was my first complete game,” Allen said. “It was my first double-digit strikeout game. It feels good to do this in the tournament.”

And it shows just how far the Troy pitching staff has come.

Allen threw 107 pitches, with first-pitch strikes to 17 of 25 batters, while walking just one.

“At the beginning of the year, our pitchers were only going three to four innings,” Welker said. “Now, we are there. And we are not done yet. Hopefully, Brian (Allen) gets another chance to pitch.”

As the Trojans continue down the tournament trail Thursday.

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