Red Wolves rally downs Trojans 13-12 in Sun Belt Tourney
SAN MARCOS, Texas (troytrojans.com) – The Troy baseball team dropped an elimination game to Arkansas State, 13-12, on Thursday and was eliminated from the Sun Belt Conference Tournament at Bobcat Ballpark.
Troy (32-26) had an eight run lead at the conclusion of the top of the fourth inning, but had its largest lead lost of the season as Arkansas State (28-28) scored nine unanswered runs over the final four and a half innings.
The Red Wolves scored three in the ninth including the walk-off single by Tanner Ring. Arkansas State tied the game by scoring two runs in the ninth inning on a booted ball by the Trojans.
The game was started with a Matt Sanders solo home run to left field in the second at-bat of the game. Arkansas State took a 2-1 lead in the first on an RBI double and a one-run single to left center field.
Chase Smartt hit a one-out single in the second inning as part of a career-high three hit day. Following that, the players were pulled off the field due to lightning in the area. The weather delay lasted 2:50 and when play was resumed Troy scored four runs in the inning and took a 5-2 lead. For the season, the Trojans scored six runs in each inning when resuming play from a weather delay.
The Red Wolves added one more in the bottom of the second, before Troy added three in the top of the fourth. Justin Friend extended the lead to 7-3 with a two-run blast to right center field. Smartt added to the lead with an RBI single through the right side.
After Arkansas State answered with a run, Troy had another four run inning in the fifth. Friend added to his RBI count with a single up the middle as Troy had a 9-4 lead. Joey Denison hit his seventh home run of the season – Troy’s fifth of the tournament – and plated two that gave Troy an 11-4 lead. TJ Binder singled in Trevor Davis for Troy’s 12th and final run of the game.
The Trojans struck for 18 hits as the two, three and four hitters led the way with a combined 11 hits. Sanders, the two-hole hitter, had a 3-for-5 night and was a triple shy of the cycle with one RBI and a career-high four runs scored. Friend tied a career-high four RBIs, but had a career-high four hits, including a home run and two runs scored. Denison contributed with three RBIs, in a 3-for-5 night with a home run and two runs scored.
Smartt and Cameron Sanders rounded out the multi-hits with Smartt having four, a new career-best and Sanders with two. Binder and Fuller had a hit each on the night with Fuller driving in one run and scoring one.
Both teams combined tied for the most hits in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament with 37. The record was set by FIU and FAU, two former Sun Belt teams, in 2010.