JACKSONVILLE, Ala. - Troy closed with nine unanswered runs, including a six-run seventh inning, to defeat Jacksonville State 13-5 Tuesday night in non-conference action at Rudy Abbott Field.
The Trojans (13-6) entered the seventh inning facing a 5-4 deficit after the Gamecocks (11-11) scored three times in the bottom of the sixth.
Ali Knowles and Brandon Brown led off the inning with back-to-back walks and moved up a base on a grounder by Tyler Vaughn. Logan Pierce tied the game with a chopper to first and, after Danny Collins was intentionally walked, Trae Santos gave the Trojans the lead with a single to center.
Troy kept the pressure on in the seventh as all nine Trojans came to the plate in the frame and six runs crossed the plate. Matthew Howard and Josh McDorman led off the inning with back-to-back singles and Knowles was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Vaughn drove in a run with a sac fly and Collins followed two batters later with a single to left to score another.
Santos, who entered the game with nine hits and six RBIs in his last 13 at-bats, hit a two-run triple to straightaway center field and then scored on a throwing error. Santos finished 3-for-6 with four RBIs in the game.
Brown led off the eighth with his second double of the season and came home to score on Collins' second hit of the game to set the final 13-5 margin.
Vaughn and Howard joined Collins with two hits in the game while Pierce drew three walks, had a pair of RBIs and scored twice. The Trojans outhit the Gamecocks 12-10 on the night and have now reached double-digit runs six times in 19 games on the year.
Ryan Sorce (1-0) picked up his first win on the mound since April 23, 2011, after holding JSU scoreless over 2.1 innings out of the bullpen. Sorce, who missed all of last season with an injury, struck out four and allowed just an infield single. William Teal and Austin Sullivan tossed a scoreless inning each to close out the game.
The Trojans jumped on JSU starter Taylor Sparks in the first inning as they scored three times in the opening frame. Santos opened the scoring with an RBI single, Garrett Pitts added a sac fly and the first of three Jacksonville State errors led to the final run of the frame.
The Gamecocks pulled to within one, 3-2, with a run in the first and one in the third. Jacksonville State had the bases loaded with nobody out in the third, but Knowles made a remarkable diving catch in center field to trigger a double play and limit the damage.
Pierce gave the Trojans a 4-2 lead in the fourth with a two-out single after Vaughn kept the inning alive with a double to left.
Jacksonville State took a 5-4 lead in the sixth thanks to a pair of unearned runs. The first run of the inning scored on a passed ball and the second on a fielding error by the Trojans. Michael Bishop gave the Gamecocks the lead with a double to center field.
Michael Mason (0-1) took the loss for the Gamecocks after he allowed two runs over 1.2 innings; he didn't allow a hit but walked three batters.
Troy returns to Sun Belt Conference play this weekend when it travels to Monroe, La., for a three-game series at ULM.