By Josh Brown
Troy Daily News
TROY — The Troy baseball team dealt with enough drama in Monday’s series opener at Sidney.
So the Trojans made sure there was none on Tuesday.
After a stressful and narrow 4-3 victory on Monday to begin the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division series, Troy sent 21 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first alone Tuesday against Sidney, scoring 13 runs before the second out had even been recorded and finishing with 16 runs before the Yellow Jackets’ second chance at the plate in a 17-2 victory at Market Street Field to complete the two-game sweep.
With the win — Troy’s fifth straight — the Trojans improved to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in the GWOC American North, while Sidney fell to 3-7 and 1-5 in the division with its third consecutive loss.
“Yeah, I’d say that (there was less drama today than the day before),” Troy coach Ty Welker said.
There was plenty of drama Monday as Sidney battled back to tie the score at 3-3 with a three-run bottom of the sixth, only to have Troy retake the lead in the top of the seventh and close it out in the bottom of the inning with the potential tying run on third base.
Braeden Snider was 2 for 4 with a double and three RBIs to lead the Trojans — including the RBI double in the top of the seventh that scored Jacob Adams with the eventual winning run — and Austin Kendall was 1 for 3 with two runs scored as Troy only outhit Sidney 6-4 in the game.
Matt Bigley pitched the seventh to earn a save, walking one — Trey Werntz, who stole both second and third base before a lineout ended the game. Ethan West started the game and pitched five innings of one-hit ball, striking out nine and walking four. Luke Severt pitched 2-3 of an inning and Nate Henderson got the final out of the sixth inning and was credited with the win in relief.
For Sidney, Werntz was 2 for 3 in the game and Collin Jones had two RBIs. Darius Boeke took the loss in relief, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out one.
On Tuesday, there was no doubt from the beginning.
Troy’s offense was on fire from the start, with Austin Kendall singling to lead off and Caleb Fogarty walking, followed by an RBI single the other way by Jacob Adams. After a double steal put runners on second and third, Braeden Snider hit an RBI groundout that made it a 2-0 game.
It would be a long time before the Jackets recorded another out.
Brogan walked and then Ethan West ripped an RBI single to left, then another double steal and a hit-batter loaded the bases. A wild pitch scored another run, and another walk sent Sidney making a call to the bullpen with the bases still loaded. Weston Smith was hit by a pitch to bring in one run and Kendall walked to bring in another, then Fogarty drove a two-run double over the center fielder’s head to make it an 8-0 game. Adams followed with a two-run single to make it 10-0 and advanced all the way to third base on the play to the plate, then Snider hit an RBI single to bring home Adams, and a walk and another hit-batter reloaded the bases, forcing Sidney to call on the bullpen again — still only with one out.
Sam Shaneyfelt promptly greeted the new pitcher with a two-run double to center, then two straight walks brought home another run before Kendall hit an RBI sac fly to left for the second out in the inning. Fogarty hit one more RBI single to make it a 16-0 game before Sidney finally got out of the inning.
“I liked our approach coming out offensively in that first inning,” Welker said. “We put the ball in play, we didn’t swing at balls out of the strike zone — we did all the things you want to do against anybody. And they only had one error in that inning, too, so we really scored all those runs on walks and hits.”
The first inning took 45 minutes to play, with the rest of the game taking 45 minutes to complete. And after all of that offense, Troy’s defense was a little shaky in the second inning.
“The tough thing is to stay focused,” Welker said. “We don’t want to disrespect the game. We told the kids to go up and have good at-bats, but we did stop running a bit. You try to keep competing, and the guys did. We lost a bit of focus in the next inning, but it’s tough.”
Ben Spangler reached on an error to lead off, Lathan Jones singled and Trey Werntz reached on an error to load the bases with no outs. Brogan got a pair of called third strikes and looked like he would get out of the inning with no damage, but Mitch Larger hit a two-out, two-run single to get Sidney on the board, trailing 16-2 after two.
“It’s tough for any kid, let alone high school kids,” Welker said. “I know Brogan’s probably a little disappointed in himself, and we made a couple errors behind him that didn’t help. He takes pride in what he does, and I think he felt like he let his guard down a little bit, and we also did defensively. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s a lesson learned to stay focused.”
Fogarty added an RBI double in the bottom of the third to make it 17-2, and Brogan did the rest. The senior retired the final 10 batters he faced, striking out 10 — six straight at one point — and allowing no earned runs on two hits and one walk.
Fogarty finished the game 3 for 3 with two doubles and four RBIs, Adams was 2 for 4 with three RBIs, Shaneyfelt was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs, Smith had two RBIs, Kendall and Snider were both 1 for 2 with two RBIs and West was 1 for 2 with an RBI. Overall, Troy outhit Sidney 10-2 and took advantage of a total of nine walks and four hit-batters.
Overall, the series was similar to Troy’s first division series against Greenville last week. After another close Monday game — a disappointing 4-3 loss — the Trojans, behind Brogan’s pitching, run-ruled the Green Wave 15-0 the next day.
“We have a different confidence when Brogan is on the mound,” Welker said. “I don’t know why, because West has thrown two great games these last two Mondays. But once we get a run or two in a game like today, we feel relaxed because we know Brogan’s not going to give up any. That’s a nice comfort, but we’ve got to get over that, because we’re going to have to play some big game’s where he’s not on the mound.”
The Trojans will get a tough test on the road Thursday at Springboro before taking on GWOC American South Division leader Xenia at home Friday.
Contact Troy Daily News Sports Editor Josh Brown at email@example.com, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.