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Doug4Troy
01-31-2014, 08:21 PM
Letter to Fans from Bobby Pierce

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"Trojan Fans:

The last time we were all together our team was fighting for an NCAA Regional championship in Tallahassee. The journey begins again soon as we open our 2014 season on February 14, Valentine's Day, at Riddle-Pace Field. Be on the lookout for some exciting changes that will enhance the entrance and overall appearance of our stadium.

The 2014 Trojan baseball team features several outstanding players from our Sun Belt Championship team from a year ago. Seniors Shane McCain and Tyler Vaughn will provide the leadership and direction that our team requires. Shane was fantastic last season as he earned Sun Belt Conference Pitcher of the Year by leading the league in wins and strikeouts. With his commitment and hard work since last June to improve on his performance, we are convinced that he is poised for another dynamic year on the mound. Tyler was named Academic All-American at shortstop after being named First Team All-Sun Belt. He led the Sun Belt and was fourth in the nation with 72 runs scored along with being one of the toughest hitters in the country to strike out. Tyler will open the year in his familiar lead-off position in the order and should help lead a revamped offense to success once again.

Senior right-hander Tanner Hicks returns on the mound as he and McCain will provide arguably the best 1-2 punch in the Sun Belt Conference. Tanner features a quality fastball and above average breaking ball along with a competitiveness that gives him the chance to win each time he takes the mound. Local product Will Starling, a senior pitcher from Troy, is on track to return from major elbow surgery last April and pitch again this spring. His recovery and rehabilitation has gone exceptionally well and his return will bolster the staff in a significant way. Jeremy McGowan, a junior from Esto, Fla., is poised for a major breakthrough this year as well. One young pitcher to keep an eye on is freshman Marc Skinner, a right-hander from Phenix City, Ala. He had a very good fall campaign and offers a bulldog mentality on the mound after earning All-State honors both his junior and senior years in high school.

One of our major challenges this year will be replacing five quality offensive performers that departed after the 2013 season. Lost are the three heavy hitters, Logan Pierce, Danny Collins and Trae Santos along with solid seniors Josh McDorman and Brandon Brown. Four of those five are now playing professionally and each of them helped our team lead the country in doubles in 2013. Returning players that will be counted on to help replace that production include senior second baseman Garrett Pitts, senior outfielder Ali Knowles, junior outfielders Clay Holcomb, Jo-El Bennett and David Hall. Also returning is junior first baseman Kyle Brown, who is healthy for the first time in three years after double hip surgery this summer. Two junior college transfers that should make a quick impact on the field are third baseman Nick Masonia, an All-American from Northwest Florida State College and outfielder Trevin Hall from Gulf Coast State College. Both of them had productive fall campaigns and have great offensive ability.

Our home schedule features 31 games at Riddle-Pace Field in 2014. We averaged slightly more than 1,100 fans last year and our goal is to improve that to 1,300 or more this year. We need your support as we continue to grow our fan base and improve our overall fan experience. Please consider joining our team and getting your season tickets before it's too late. Season ticket prices start as low as $75 and can be purchased by calling 334-670-3680.

Finally, we are excited to be able to introduce our team to all of our fans at our 2014 Fan Day that will take place this Saturday, Feb. 1, in Trojan Arena when our basketball teams host Arkansas State. Each of you will have the chance to meet, greet and have our team poster autographed by each player. Everyone associated with the Trojan baseball program is excited about the season and the opportunity to meet everyone at Trojan Arena on Saturday night. See you there!

Go Trojans!!"

Bobby Pierce
Head Baseball Coach

http://troytrojans.com/news/2014/1/31/BSB_0131143350.aspx