Jags' bats explode in 10-6 win over Troy

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MOBILE, Ala. – Eight Jaguar starters hit safely in No. 25 University of South Alabama baseball's 10-6 win over Troy Friday at Stanky Field.

Four Jags recorded multiple hits in the game, led by Brendan Donovan who went 2-for-4 with two doubles, one RBI and two runs scored. Colton Thomas added two hits, including a double, and three runs scored, while Dylan Hardy finished with two hits and two runs scored.

South Alabama (35-19, 21-8 SBC) jumped out to a three-run lead in the bottom of the first. Hardy singled to left-center field to lead off the inning, and Thomas followed with a walk. A flyout to left-center field by Donovan allowed Hardy to tag from second and put runners at the corners with one out. Travis Swaggerty followed with a three-run home run to left field on a 3-2 pitch from Trojan right-hander Daren Osby for a 3-0 Jaguar lead.

"We put three runs on the board in the first inning, and after that I thought their (Troy) guy (Osby) settled in nicely," USA head coach Mark Calvi said. "He did a really nice job and kind of handcuffed us. We had a few guys on base, but not many. He did a really good job of mixing up his pitches well and kept us off balance. But I thought our guys did a nice job. We capitalized early and late as well; our guys had some good at-bats late and got to the bullpen."

Troy (31-23, 16-13 SBC) answered with a pair of runs in the top of the second, highlighted by an RBI single by Brody Binder, to cut the USA lead to 3-2. The Trojans tied the game 3-3 in the top of the fifth on a leadoff solo home run to left field by Matt Sanders.

The Jags took a five-run after scoring five runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Hardy drew a leadoff walk, and advanced to third on a throwing error by Trojan catcher Chase Smartt following a bunt attempt by Thomas that put runners at the corners with no outs. A wild pitch from Osby allowed Hardy to score from third for a 4-3 Jaguar lead. Brendan Donovan then reached on a hit by pitch before a sacrifice bunt by Swaggerty moved both runners into scoring position with one out. Wells Davis followed with a three-run home run to center field to extend the USA lead to 7-3. A single to right-center by Carter Perkins put runners at the corners with two outs before Will Luft singled to right field to score Stokes for an 8-3 advantage.

The Trojans loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the sixth, and cut the Jaguar lead in half at 8-4 on a passed ball.

But the Jaguars responded with their final runs of the game in the bottom-half of the sixth. Thomas led off the inning with a single through the right side of the infield, and advanced to third with no outs on consecutive wild pitches. Donovan followed with an RBI double down the right field line to score Thomas and push the USA lead to 9-4. An RBI groundout to second from Davis later in the inning scored Donovan for a 10-4 lead.

Troy answered with the game's final runs in the top of the seventh on a one-out, two-run home run to left field by Trevor Davis to cut the Jaguar lead to 10-6.

Jaguar right-hander Tyler Carr (6-1) allowed five earned runs on nine hits with five strikeouts and three walks in seven innings pitched to earn his sixth win of the season. Osby (5-5) allowed six runs on four hits with five strikeouts and three walks in four innings in the loss.

"We have a lot of respect for Troy and their offense, pitching staff and team," Calvi said. "They are probably one of the top three pitching staffs in the league and they have some older, experienced hitters. But I thought Tyler (Carr) hung in there and competed. He came back on short rest, and that's what the end of the year is all about. We take care of them during the year, then you have to push it a little bit late. But Tyler was really good. I was proud of his effort, and Will Eiland was good for us again."

The series will conclude with the rubber match on Sunday with first pitch, originally scheduled for 1 p.m., now set for noon.