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 Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3 
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Post Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
*Halfway through writing this up Troy made a change to the schedule. Sunday's game is moved to Saturday with a doubleheader to start at 3pm. Changing date/time in schedule below, but not changing all my "Sundays" to "Saturdays" in the write up.*

The Bobcats are making a change to the weekend rotation for the first time since Sun Belt play started as they head to Troy for the first of back-to-back road trips to the state of Alabama.

Usual Sunday starter Nicholas Fraze is being moved up in the rotation and will pitch on Saturday against the Trojans. It hasn't been announced who will start on Sunday for the Bobcats, but the assumption is it will be either Wes Engle (usual Saturday starter) or Cam Baird (usual mid-week starter).

The entire series will be on ESPN3 and the watchESPN app.

Schedule/Probable Pitching Matchups:
Friday - 6pm:
#41 RHP Connor Reich (2-2, 4.70 ERA) vs. #33 RHP Corey Childress (2-3, 6.68 ERA)
Saturday - Game 1 - 3pm:
#36 RHP Nicholas Fraze (4-1, 4.59 ERA) vs. #27 RHP Daren Osby (4-3, 3.93 ERA)
Saturday - Game 2:
TBA vs. #40 LHP Austin Crook (4-1, 3.71 ERA)

Bobcats Starting Pitching:
Again, the big pitching news going into this series is a shakeup to the weekend rotation. Some of us (me) have been advocating moving Fraze up to Saturday for the last couple weekends and we will get to see him in that role this weekend. The question is: who will start on Sunday? Wes Engle is the pitcher that is losing his Saturday spot to Fraze. Early in the season Engle had the most success of the starting pitchers, but has struggled with control in his last three starts. Those struggles, coupled with Fraze having multiple quality starts lately, are the reason for the change this weekend. Engle may just move into the Sunday role. The other option is moving the usual mid-week starter, Cam Baird, up into the Sunday slot. Baird was pulled Tuesday at Texas in the 5th inning after only throwing 57 pitches in a pretty solid start. 5 days rest after only a 57 pitch outing should be no issue at all.

Bobcats Relief Pitching:
- Maybe the biggest news out of the Bobcats' bullpen lately is the emergence of Joe Powell as a quality long relief option. Powell went almost an entire month without an appearance, only pitching twice in the month of March. Powell has been asked to bail Engle out of his last two poor starts, going 4 innings giving up 2 hits and no runs two weeks ago at Little Rock and giving up 2 earned runs last weekend in 5.2 innings vs. ULM. Powell is getting more of the opportunities that were going to Brandon Courville and Anthony Pagano in March.
- Do we have a closer? Have we moved on from Blake Walden? Walden only has 3 appearances in the month of April and hasn't pitched since April 9th. In those 3 appearances Walden pitched 4 innings and gave up 7 earned runs on 9 hits.
- With Walden's use being limited, Broc Bosse is seeing more opportunities in the backend of the bullpen. Bosse picked up a save last weekend vs. ULM giving up 1 run on 2 hits in 2 innings. Brayden Theriot is another arm we like to use in the backend.

Bobcats Hitting:
- Still no news on the severity of Ryan Newman's injury. Newman being out of the lineup is a huge blow to the offense and we are forced to hit people out of their optimum spot in the lineup. Newman 3rd, Hoffman clean-up, Hubbard 5th, Sherley 6th is significantly more dangerous than Hoffman 3rd, Hubbard clean-up, Sherley 5th. I haven't heard any news on if Newman made the trip or will be available at all this weekend.
- We need Travon Benton to step up. Benton had just become all but permanently removed from the lineup prior to Newman's injury with Coffey taking over as the primary lefty DH in the lineup. Benton will have to play 1st now with Newman out. After a decent start to the season, Benton is only hitting .183 now and is in one hell of a slump right now (see: 1/27 at the plate dating back to the App State series in late March). Dylan Paul and Cole Coffey are the other two players on the roster with experience at 1st base. I wonder if we are considering playing either of them there this weekend (particularly Sunday with a lefty starter for Troy). With Newman out we are trading a .305 batter for a .183 batter with Benton.
- Felipe Rodriguez has slowly earned more and more playing time as the season has progressed. Rodriguez has been quietly putting together a nice season at the plate and is actually 2nd on the team behind Hoffman in batting average at .371. Rodriguez had been making about 1 start a week over the past month or so, allowing usual starter Jared Huber some rest, but made 2 starts last week with 1 against ULM and also Tuesday against UT. With Rodriguez emerging as a threat at the plate, we could see Huber and Rodriguez split time closer to evenly going forward if Rodriguez continues to hit well.

Troy Outlook:
At the halfway point of the conference schedule, Troy has to be disappointed at where they are at right now at just 6-9 in Sun Belt play. Their worst series of the season was just last weekend, losing 2 of 3 at last-place Georgia State. They played two mid-week games this week, losing 6-1 to UAB on Tuesday and beating Jacksonville State 10-5 on Wednesday. They come into the series with an RPI of 144. Despite the losing Sun belt record they have a winning overall record at 19-17.

Troy Starting Pitching:
Corey Childress will make the start on Friday night for the Trojans. Childress was the opening day starter for Troy and made the first two Friday night starts of the season for the Trojans. He was then sent to the bullpen for the entire month of March before getting his 3rd start of the season in a mid-week game against Alabama on April 4th. He moved back into the #1 spot in the rotation last weekend at Georgia State. I'm not sure if he had an injury or what that would cause him to have so many different roles on the season. He's still being used in relief also as he pitched an inning at Jacksonville State on just Wednesday of this week. On the season Childress is 2-3 with a 6.68 ERA in 31 innings pitched. He's struck out 27, walked 10, has allowed 8 homers, and is allowing a .311 batting average. VERY pedestrian stats for a Friday night starter. Unlike Childress, game 2 starter Daren Osby has been a weekend starter all year for the Trojans. He has a 4-3 record with a 3.93 ERA through 50.1 innings. He's struck out 38 and walked 14 and allows a .271 batting average. Austin Crook will start game 3 and has been a weekend starter since conference play started for the Trojans. He's got a 4-1 record with a 3.71 ERA in 43.2 innings pitched. He's struck out 32, walked 13, and allows a .229 batting average.

Troy Relief Pitching:
Closer Marc Skinner may be the best arm on the entire staff. Skinner has 8 saves on the season, a team best 1.33 ERA, and has struck out 32 in just 27 innings pitched.
Andrew Crane is another reliever to watch. He has made 2 starts this month, but moved back to the bullpen last weekend. He has a 1.74 ERA and only allows opponents to bat .198. He's also only walked 5 to 25 strikeouts on the season. Skinner and Crane are easily the best arms coming out of the Trojans bullpen. As a team the Trojans have the 3rd best ERA in the Sun Belt at 4.03, compared to the Bobcats in 9th at 5.23.

Troy Hitting:
Sophomore 2nd baseman Brandon Lockridge leads the team with a .342 batting average. Lockridge usually bats either 2-hole or cleanup for the Trojans. Lockridge has started every game of the season for Troy. He's a solid hitter at the plate but has committed 11 errors on the season playing 2nd. Senior outfielder Trevor Davis is the other bat to watch for Troy. He will hit either 3rd or 4th and is one of the bigger power threats on the team. 15 of his 31 hits on the season have gone for extra bases and he's hitting .311 through 31 starts. He did not play the first 5 games of the season. 1st baseman Justin Friend leads the team with home runs with 4, but is only a .231 hitter. Lead-off man Matt Sanders plays shortstop and hits .289. He's had 8 doubles, 3 triples, 1 homer and has 12 stolen bases. As a team Troy only hits .250, which is good for 10th in the 12-team Sun Belt. Texas State leads the conference in hitting at .298.


Fri Apr 21, 2017 12:54 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
Some Notes:
- Andrew Crane made the start for Troy instead of Childress.
- Newman is in the lineup. DHing and batting 5th. Great to see him in the lineup.
- Scheible is apparently under the weather. Still starting in CF but batting 6th as opposed to his usual lead off spot.
- Huber did not make the trip to Troy. He has some sort of injury. Expect Rodriguez to make all 3 starts this weekend. Hopefully nothing too serious with Huber.
- Ethan Klosterboer is making his first career start 1st base, batting 8th.

2-0 Troy in the bottom of the 3rd. Troy has a runner on 3rd and nobody out after Reich hits the first batter of the inning then threw it away on a pick off attempt to allow runner to advance to 3rd. 2nd error of the game for TXST already.

Sac Fly to CF makes it 3-0 Troy with 1 out and nobody on in the bottom of the 3rd.


Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:50 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
2 walks and a Scheible single in the 4th but no runs.

3-0 Troy. Middle 4th.

1-2-3 for Reich in the 4th.

3-0 after 4.


Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:08 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
Top 5:
Klosterboer Ks looking
Almendarez grounds out to SS
Sherley flies out to CF

Crane has now thrown 17.2 straight scoreless innings for Troy.

Bottom 5:
Sanders Ks looking
Lockridge singles through the left side under a diving Hubbard.
Lockridge steals 2nd.
Davis Ks looking
Friend grounds out to 1st.

Reich up to 93 pitches thrown.

3-0 after 5.


Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:31 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
Top 6:
Ortega grounds out to SS
Hoffman Ks swinging on 3 pitches
Hubbard Ks looking

We've only managed 2 hits through 6 innings against Crane.

Bottom 6:
Rogers Ks looking. 8th K for Reich.
Smartt grounds out to 1st. 3-1.
Frederic Ks looking. 9th K for Reich.

Still 3-0 Troy through 6.


Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:40 pm
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Top 7:
Cory Gill (0-1, 4.50 ERA) replaces Crane on the mound.
Crane's final stats are 6 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs.
Newman ground rule doubles to LF.
Scheible Ks swinging.
Newman advances to 3rd on a wild pitch.
Rodriguez Ks swinging.
Klosterboer Ks swinging and we strand Newman at 3rd.

Bottom 7:
Mercer Ks swinging. 10 Ks for Reich now.
Whitaker walks on a full count.
Sanders pops up to C.
Whitaker steals 2nd and a throwing error on Rodriguez allows Whitaker to advance to 3rd.
3rd error on TXST tonight.
Lockridge grounds to 1st and Klosterboer boots it for the 4th bobcat error of the night. 4-0 Trojans.
Blake Walden (5-1, 4.22 ERA) entering the game for Reich.
Reich went 6.2 innings allowing 2 earned runs on 5 hits with 10 Ks and 2 walks.
He got no help from the bats or the defense.
Davis pops up to SS.

4-0 Troy through 7.


Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:03 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
Top 8:
Almendarez Ks swinging.
Gill has K'd 4 Bobcats in a row. We are all kinds of fooled by his slider.
Sherley grounds out to 3rd.
Ortega Ks swinging.

Bottom 8:
Brandon Courville (2-2, 7.11 ERA) in for Walden.
Walden went 0.1 innings. No hits.
Friend flies out to LF.
Rogers grounds out to 3rd.
Smartt lines out to RF.

4-0 Troy through 8. Last chance for TXST.


Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:15 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
Top 9:
Hoffman Ks swinging.
Hubbard Ks looking. Hubbard 0/4 with 4 Ks tonight.
Newman flies out to CF.
Gill had 7 Ks in 3 innings of work to get the save.

4-0 Troy. Final.
Doubleheader tomorrow.


Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:21 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
Thoughts:
Reich had a good game. Struck out 10 in 6.2 innings, giving up 2 earned runs.
It's a shame we wasted a quality start from him.

Shut out in consecutive games after only being shutout once all season back in the 5th game of the season. Offense has gone completely cold. Just 3 hits tonight on 14 strikeouts. Ouch.

4 errors. It's been awhile since we had this bad a game defensively.

Troy hadn't won a Friday night game since March 17th at Little Rock. Going to Crane was a smart move as he had a fantastic game for Troy.

Burn the tape.


Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:30 pm
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SuperCat

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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
I try not to be too negative but man. Hopefully the defense and bats show up tomorrow.


Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:30 pm
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Junior Bobcat

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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
Had the hits today(10). Left 11 on base, but 2 errors The last one cost us the game. Hope we can salvage second game today to avoid sweep. Our rpi keeps getting torpedoed.


Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:19 pm
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Junior Bobcat

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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
Rest of schedule doesn't do us any favors. Can't keep giving games away like this.


Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:29 pm
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SuperCat

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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
Guess I can't blame everyone for being so quiet after what the cats did this weekend. I can't believe they played so poorly. I always look forward to the weekend during baseball season as it is my favorite sport. Hopefully this is just a short term thing and the team can refocus.


Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:58 pm
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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
cgd469 wrote:
Guess I can't blame everyone for being so quiet after what the cats did this weekend. I can't believe they played so poorly. I always look forward to the weekend during baseball season as it is my favorite sport. Hopefully this is just a short term thing and the team can refocus.


We're 2-8 in our last 10 games . . .

Look at the rest of the schedule . . . 15 games left . . . most on the road, our current road record is pathetic . . .

Baylor in Waco
USA in Mobile
at UTSA
at UL
at Rice

UTA and GA ST at home

The way we're presently playing, I could see this team losing 11 of its last 15.

Hope I'm wrong, but right now it looks like: SEASON OVER . . .

Last year, our last 25, we went 10-15. . . Looking like more of the same this year . .

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Last edited by Bobcat87 on Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:31 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:08 am
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Post Re: Series Thread - @ Troy - ESPN3
I have lost interest. I'll make a few more games if I don't have anything better to do.
Looks like Ty has finally figured out the starting pitching. Relief pitching not so much. Odd how our best RP is the senior he almost never used for weeks on end.
The lineup, anyone's guess.

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Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:26 am
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