TROY — After their first week on the road this season — and a tough one, at that — the Troy Legends decided it was good to be back home.
Cy Baisden and Ian Yunker combined on a two-hit shutout and Gavin Martin drove in a pair of runs as Troy Post 43 was able to string together a three-run second inning to take control and put away a 5-0 victory over the Greenville Thunder Tuesday night at Duke Park.
The win for Troy (8-15-1) was a bit of payback, as Greenville (5-4) knocked the Legends off 7-1 one week prior at Greenville. Troy then played in the Cincinnati Flames Summer Classic over the weekend, going 1-4 in the tournament. But even though the results turned out the way they did, Troy Legends coach Frosty Brown liked some things he saw out of his team as they typically remained competitive save for one bad inning in each game.
“This last weekend was tough, but we did play better baseball,” he said. “Each time, it was just the same mistakes as always — walking leadoff batters, throwing pitches too close to the strike zone with two strikes, the inability to throw a pitchout.
“But we did a pretty good job today. They beat us pretty handily at their place a week or so ago, too, so this felt good.”
Greenville’s Matt O’Dell started the game strong, though, striking out the first four Troy batters he faced. But a walk, three straight hits and an error in the second turned things around for the Legends.
“We had a much better effort out of everybody tonight,” Brown said. “We know what it takes, and we know how to do things. Now we just have to think more like baseball players. Look what kind of pitcher we’re facing and see where we need to be in the batter’s box, stuff like that. We didn’t start out doing that, but by the end, we were much better.”
Ian Yunker drew a walk to start off the rally, then Zach Seagraves doubled over the left fielder’s head to put two runners in scoring position. Martin and Darrin Hays followed with back-to-back RBI singles, and Aiden Heffner hit into a fielder’s choice, only to have Greenville’s second baseman throw the ball away trying to complete a double play, allowing one more run to score and giving the Legends a 3-0 lead.
“I was telling them that there’s three kinds of hitters: the leadoff guy that gets on base, the guy that knocks in runs and the guys that have power. But if you could be all three of those guys, you’d be Mike Trout,” Brown said. “But I’m thinking if you can concentrate on what your job is … say, I’m leading off, so I’ve got to find a way on. Hey, there’s people on base, and I’ve got to drive them in. We don’t think like that often. Most of the time, we’re thinking ‘I don’t want to mess up’ — and that’s where the bad parts come in.”
Troy continued to find ways to cash in its chances in the next two innings. Jonny Baileys doubled to lead off the bottom of the third, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored when Darius Boeke beat out bunt for an RBI single. And in the fourth, Seagraves singled with one out, stole second, took third on a wild pitch and scored on an RBI sac fly by Martin to make the score 5-0.
That was plenty of support for Baisden, who kept the Thunder’s hitters off balance for five innings to earn the win, striking out one, walking two, hitting one batter and allowing only a second-inning single by Trent Collins. Baisden got help defensively, too, as right fielder Zach Seagraves doubled off Collins on a flyout in that second inning.
“He did, he did a good job,” Brown said.
Yunker pitched the final two innings to notch a save, giving up an infield single by Logan Stastny in the seventh, walking one and hitting two batters while striking out three. All told, Greenville left six runners on base, four in scoring position.
Troy, meanwhile, took advantage of its chances by only leaving three on base and piling up eight hits on the night. Seagraves was 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored, Hays was 2 for 2 with an RBI, Martin was 1 for 1 with two RBIs and Baileys doubled. O’Dell lasted four innings on the mound for Greenville, allowing eight hits and five runs, four earned, with six strikeouts and one walk. Brody Williams pitched two perfect innings and struck out one.
Troy hosts the Miami Valley Machine in a nine-inning game Wednesday night before heading out for another weekend tournament, playing in the Grady’s Invitational Friday through Sunday at Athletes in Action Field in Xenia.