Trojans fall to South Alabama 8-3
TROY, Ala. (troytrojans.com) – The Troy baseball team fell in the series opener to No. 23 South Alabama, 8-3, in 10 innings at Riddle-Pace Field on Thursday night.
“This is a tough one, it’s a tough loss,” head coach Mark Smartt said. “I thought we deserved to win the game, but didn’t play good enough. The difference is they made mistakes we didn’t. I don’t remember them making a mistake throughout the game. That’s the difference in a win and a loss at this level. I look for our team to bounce back tomorrow.”
Troy (30-24, 15-13 Sun Belt) had a chance in the bottom of the ninth as three straight singles loaded the bases with one-out, but a strike out and a screaming line out to third base sent the game into extras.
South Alabama (38-16, 21-7 Sun Belt) scored five runs in the top of the fifth inning to go ahead 8-3. Danny Martinez drove in the go-ahead run with a double to center field that made it 4-3. A pair of RBI singles and a two-run home run gave the Jaguars the 8-3 lead.
Troy scored a run each in the first and second innings and tied the game at two after the Jaguars took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning. Justin Friend hit an RBI single up the middle that plated Steven Whitaker. Peyton Fuller tied the game with an RBI single through the left side in the second.
Denison gave the Trojans a 3-2 lead in the fifth with a single to right field that plated Whitaker for the second time in the game.
The Jaguars answered as Martinez drove in the game tying run on a single to left field in the sixth inning.
Grant Bennett pitched a gem in his final outing at Riddle-Pace Field. He ended up with a no decision and pitched six innings, allowed three runs on six hits, walked one and struck out six.
Corey Childress (2-3) suffered the loss. He pitched four innings and allowed the five runs scored in the 10th. He struck out three and only walked one.
The Trojans had 11 hits on the night with Whitaker having three of them in a 3-for-3 night. He also walked twice and scored two runs. Fuller was the other Trojan that had a multi-hit game as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Matt Sanders had the only extra-base hit, a double in the seventh inning.
Troy will try to even the series on Friday night as Lucas Brown pitches his final game at Riddle-Pace Field. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.