TROY, Ala. – CJ Boyd hit his eighth home run in his last nine games, but the Mountaineers offense was held in check Thursday night, as App State fell 3-2 to Troy in the series opener at Riddle-Pace Field.
After the Trojans scored all three runs in the second inning, Boyd was quick to answer, launching a solo home run to left, his 13th of the season, in the top of the third inning to make it a 3-1 ballgame.
The Mountaineers (26-22, 15-12) added one more run in the fourth. Luke Drumheller worked a four-pitch walk to begin the inning, and Hayden Cross reached on an infield single. With one out, Dylan Rogers came through with an RBI single through the left side to make it 3-2.
The Trojans did little damage against starter Xander Hamilton (loss, 8-3) outside of the second inning. Hamilton finished by going five innings, allowing three runs on six hits, he walked two and struck out six to give him 109 strikeouts on the season. Hamilton retired 10 of the final 14 batters he faced.
Collin Welch took over for Hamilton in the sixth inning, and was superb in relief. Welch struck out five batters over three innings of work, allowing just two baserunners. The tandem combined to issue just one walk on the night.
At the plate, however, the Mountaineers were held to just five hits on the night. Rogers led the way with a two-hit outing, while Xavier Moronta went 1-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 14 consecutive games.
The teams will reconvene on Friday for the middle game of the three-game set with first pitch slated for 7 p.m,