From Troy Media Relations:
TROY, Ala. - The formula is simple for Troy when it hosts South Alabama this weekend in a three-game Sun Belt Conference series to close out the regular season, win and you're in.
The Trojans enter the final weekend of play in sixth place in the Sun Belt standings based on tiebreakers set forth by the league. A series victory over the Jaguars would assure the Trojans one of the coveted eight spots in the Sun Belt Tournament next weekend in Bowling Green, Ky. Troy could finish as high as fourth in the standings with a sweep of South Alabama and some help around the league.
Troy has won three straight series and four of the past five to post a 9-6 mark in its last 15 Sun Belt games. The Trojans have won 10 of their last 11 Sun Belt series at Riddle-Pace Field dating back to the 2010 season. First pitched is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
All three games will be broadcast live on the Troy IMG Sports Network with local coverage on 94.7 FM and worldwide coverage on TroyTrojans.com or via the Tune-In Radio app on your smartphone by searching for WTBF-FM. Fans can also follow the action on TroyTrojans.com with live stats and live video. Saturday's series finale will be televised live by the Sun Belt Network on CSS and Cox Sports Television.
Senior right-hander Tyler Ray will make his final start at Riddle-Pace Field in the opener on Thursday. Ray has compiled a remarkable 19-5 record on his home turf during his career with the Trojans. Troy has not announced its starters for the final two games of the series.
The Trojans are led offensively by a number of players in varying statistical categories. Logan Pierce leads the Trojans with a .351 batting average and .458 on-base percentage for the season, while Boone Shear is batting .328 with a team-high 54 RBIs to go along with seven stolen bases. Danny Collins leads the Trojans with 16 doubles, 11 home runs and a .538 slugging percentage.
Shear sports a .367 batting average in league games to lead the club, while Jake Harrell has inserted his name into Sun Belt Freshman of the Year contention with a .358 batting average against Sun Belt competition.
Troy (24-27, 12-15 Sun Belt) leads the Sun Belt with 114 doubles on the season and entered the week 10th nationally averaging 2.18 two-baggers per game. The Trojans are 26th in the NCAA with 40 home runs on the season, while Tyler Vaughn is ranked among the top 50 in the country with only 10 strikeouts in 148 at-bats.
South Alabama (20-31, 14-13) has assured itself a berth in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, but enters the weekend battling for seeding. The Jaguars got off to a hot start in the league jumping out to a 6-1 record, which included a series victory over the Trojans, but have gone 8-12 since and enter the weekend in fourth place in the league and just two games ahead of the Trojans.
Jordan Patterson is the offensive leader for the Jaguars as he leads the team in doubles (14), home runs (7), RBIs (39), slugging percentage (.505) and on-base percentage (.417). South Alabama is batting .267 on the season as a team with four regular starters batting over .300 led by Whitt Dorsey's .337 clip.
Senior left-hander Phillip Byrd (3-3, 5.46) will start the opener on Thursday for the Jaguars. He held the Trojans to just two runs on nine hits over 7.2 innings earlier this season. Payton Gardner (1-5, 5.51) is scheduled to start game three and South Alabama has not announced a starter for game two.