By Josh Brown
TROY — After its biggest letdown of the season, the Troy baseball team desperately needed to rebuild some momentum heading into a huge series against rival Piqua.
The sixth inning of a Senior Day matchup against Miamisburg certainly helped.
Trailing 9-4 after giving up a four-run top of the sixth, the Trojans scored eight in the bottom of the inning with some big hits to cash in a series of Viking errors, then they fended off a rally in the top of the seventh to hold on for a 12-11 victory Saturday at Market Street Field.
The win made Troy 12-6 overall on the season, but it also came on the heels of a 3-2 loss at West Carrollton on Friday, a disappointing defeat to the 4-14 Pirates that had massive implications in the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division. It left Troy 10-2 in the division — one game behind Tippecanoe in the standings.
“It was huge,” Troy coach Ty Welker said of the win. “That was a big loss last night. It was important. For us to score eight runs in an inning, and it was all pretty much hitting. We hit the crap out of the ball there, and the guys never hung their heads or gave up.”
Before Saturday’s game, Troy honored its 11 seniors — Trent Bell, Jake Daniel, Brandon Emery, Dakota Hamman, Logan Hubbard, Austin Kloeker, Derek McDonagh, Matt McGillivary, Tomo Nakayama, Chase Weaver and Keiran Williams — and they all had a role in the win, as well. Hamman, Weaver, Daniel and Emery all pitched in the game, with Daniel getting the victory and Emery earning a save by working out of trouble in the seventh.
Ad while Miamisburg (6-7) outhit Troy 10-9 on the day, the Vikings committed seven errors in the final two innings — including five during the Trojans’ eight-run sixth inning rally — and Troy’s defense survived after committing five errors in the final three innings.
“We knew it was Senior Day, and we got a lot of guys some playing time,” Welker said. “That was nice to do. Dakota pitched a few innings and did a nice job in his first outing of the year. I think we had three pitchers pitch their first outing of the year in Dakota, Jake and Brandon. And again, everybody did their parts. The seniors were part of everything. It was very exciting.
“Both coaches talked about the lack of arms at this point in the week, so we knew it was going to be an adventure there and it was likely to be a high scoring game. But we don’t need to have five errors in any game.”
After Miamisburg plated two runs in the top of the first, Troy responded as Emery launched a solo home run to right to cut the deficit to 2-1. After Hamman pitched a one-two-three second, the Trojans took advantage of two walks and a hit-by-pitch to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the inning, with Daniel hitting an RBI single and Williams drawing an RBI walk to give Troy a 3-2 lead.
The Vikings tied the score in the third and then took a 5-3 lead after the top of the fifth thanks to a pair of Troy errors, but then the Trojans got one back in the bottom of the fifth as Weaver reached on an error and scored on an RBI sac fly by Kloeker. Miamisburg seemed to put the game away in the top of the sixth, though, cashing in two walks to start the inning by stringing together three two-out hits, with another Troy error sandwiched in between, to take a 9-4 lead after five and a half.
But Troy — which also put together an eight-run inning in a big win over Tippecanoe earlier in the week — wasn’t done.
Daniel led off the bottom of the sixth with a double and scored on an error off the bat of Williams. Williams then scored on an RBI triple by pinch hitter Jacob Adams, then he was balked in to make the score 9-7. Weaver then reached on a dropped fly ball and scored by an error off the bat of Nakayama to cut the lead to one, then an errant throw on a bunt by Bell scored Nakayama all the way from first to even the score before the first out of the inning was even recorded.
McDonagh reached on another dropped fly ball, though, and Bell scored on an RBI single by Emery to give the lead back to the Trojans. That brought Daniel up again, and he ripped his second double of the inning to bring home two more runs and give Troy a 12-9 lead before the Vikings finally got out of the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Miamisburg had two outs and a runner on second that had reached on an error, but an RBI single and an RBI triple put the tying run on third base. Emery induced a grounder to Cole Brogan at short, though, and after a quick bobble he threw to first for the final out of the game.
“It was important for us going into Piqua, that’s for sure,” Welker said. “Because we know that those are going to be battles.”
And they’ll be battles for the GWOC American North title, too. The Trojans have the two games against Piqua early in the week and then an American League crossover game Friday at Trotwood remaining, while Tippecanoe has a two-game series against reigning champion Butler and a crossover game against Stebbins still to go, with the Trojans needing to win out and get at least one loss from the Red Devils to climb back into a first-place tie.
Troy begins the Piqua series at home Monday.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.
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