Troy baseball opens season with win over Greenville


TROY — It wasn’t perfect by any means.

But, the Troy baseball team opened the season by handling Greenville 9-2 in MVL action.

The Trojans made the most of four hits and took advantage of five Greenville errors.

“Our biggest concern coming into the season was hitting,” Troy baseball coach Ty Welker said. “We had too many fly balls. And too many situations where we swung through the ball (struck out) with runners in scoring position.”

But, Troy’s pitching was exactly what Welker expected.

“Trayce (Mercer) threw well,” Welker said. “He worked into the fifth inning and his pitch count was up around 80,” Welker said. “And Connor (Hutchinson) and Caleb (Akins) threw well. They did exactly what we expected.”

Troy got five runs on just one hit in the opening inning to take an early lead.

Ryder Kirtley reached second on a mis-played fly ball for a double to start the inning.

With one out, Eli Smith, Eli Donnan and Owen Harlamert all walked, forcing in a run and loading the bases.

Hutchinson brought in Donnan on a fielder’s choice, Jacob Lucas had a two-run double with two out and Hutchinson scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-0.

“Greenville gave us some gifts and we were able to take advantage of it,” Welker said.

Troy made it 6-0 in the second.

Hayden Frey singled with one out and scored when Smith reached on an error.

Troy made it 7-0 in the third when Lucas walked, stole second and scored on Kirtley’s single.

Greenville would get on the board with unearned runs in the fourth and the fifth.

In the fourth, the first three Greenville batters reached on errors.

Mercer picked one runner off first base, but one runner scored when the throw back to the mound after a pitch got away in the infield.

Greenville scored a run in the fifth on a wild pitch.

“Greenville is a scrappy team,” Welker said. “In the past, they have just found ways to hang around.”

In the sixth, both Frey and Donnan walked and would come around to score on wild pitches for the final margin.

Welker pitched five-plus innings. He struck out the side in the first and finished with seven strikeouts and one walk.

Hutchinson would strikeout five of the six batters he faced and Akins struck out one batter in the seventh.

They combined on a five-hitter.

“We knew pitching was going to be a strength,” Welker said.

The two teams were scheduled to play again at Greenville on Tuesday.

After Troy took care of business on Monday.

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