MONROE, La. -- Troy scored two
runs in the top of the ninth inning following the first of two controversial
calls in the frame. The runs in the ninth helped the Trojans escape Warhawk
Field with a 5-3 victory over ULM Friday night in game one of a three-game Sun
Belt Conference series.
The Warhawks tied the game at
3-all in the bottom of the eighth inning on a two-out single by Caleb Clowers
that scored Les Aulds.
Daniel Peterson started the
ninth-inning rally for the Trojans (36-14, 18-7 Sun Belt) with a one-out triple
off the wall in right field. Following a pitching change which brought James
Jones into the game, Tyson Workman drew a walk.
However, that came after it
appeared that the Warhawks had picked off Peterson at third base as he wondered
too far off the bag on a squeeze attempt. Peterson was called safe on the play
and would eventually score the go-ahead run on a single by Tyler Hannah. The
game was called with just two umpires after the third man in the crew was
stranded in Atlanta due to flight issues. A sac fly by T.J. Rivera added an
Judd Edwards drew a one-out
walk in the bottom of the ninth inning, but the Warhawks (22-26, 7-18) would
only have one more chance in the frame as Edwards was called for interference
at second base on a ground ball by Jason Hicks. The call drew heavy protest
from ULM head coach Jeff Schexnaider as Troy celebrated on the victory.
The final framed ruined what
was an outstanding pitching effort by ULM's Kendall Thamm as he dueled one of the
nation's best starters in Troy's Tyler Ray. Thamm (0-4) was charged with the
loss despite limiting the Trojans to just four runs -- three earned -- on seven
hits over 8.1 innings of work. It was the third straight quality start for
Thamm, who struck out a career-best six batters.
Ray, who entered the weekend
tied for the NCAA lead with 11 wins, took a no-decision after allowing three
runs on nine hits over 7.2 innings. The junior struck out just two Warhawks and
did not issue a walk.
Troy struck twice in the first
inning thanks to an RBI double by Hannah and an RBI grounder by Rivera. Hannah
and Rivera both finished with a pair of RBIs for the Trojans; the only four
runs driven in on the night by the visitors.
ULM answered in the bottom of
the frame after Aulds and Jarrett Hammond led off the inning with back-to-back
singles. With the pair on the corners, Joey Rapp grounded into a double play
which allowed Aulds to score.
Hannah scored an unearned run
in the third after he drew a two-out walk. A soft single to left by Adam Bryant
kept the inning alive and Rivera reached on the error that allowed the run to
The game remained 3-2 until
the bottom of the sixth inning when Rapp snapped out of a 1-for-17 slump with a
towering home run to right field.
Nathan Hill (4-0) was credited
with the win for Troy after he blew the save in the eighth by allowing the
single to Clowers.
The teams continue the series with
game two on Saturday at 6 p.m.