Troy falls in Sun Belt vs Arkansas State
MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Arkansas State scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning to quash a Troy rally and walk away with a 9-6 victory Friday afternoon in the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Tournament opener for both teams at Riverwalk Stadium.
Troy (27-25) rallied from a 6-0 deficit after two-and-a-half innings of play capped by Caleb Bartolero’s game-tying, two-out single in the bottom of the eighth inning. However, Arkansas State (20-30) loaded the bases on a single, double and intentional walk in the top of the ninth before Sky-Lar Culver hit a bases-clearing double into the gap in right-center field.
Culver also homered earlier in the game for the Red Wolves, while Drew Tipton finished with three hits and two others had a pair of hits.
The Red Wolves built their early lead on the strength of the long ball with three home runs in a 4-run second and another homer in the third. The Trojans did the opposite as they chipped away with two runs in the third and single runs in each of the fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth innings. Troy had just four extra-base hits among its 18 hits on the afternoon.
Bartolero finished the game 3-for-5 with a pair of RBIs and two runs scored to join Dalton Sinquefield and Jesse Hall in the three-hit column. All told, six Trojans finished with multiple hits in the game.
Bartolero hit his fifth home run of the season to pull Troy within two, 6-4, in the fifth inning, and William Sullivan delivered a clutch two-out, pinch-hit single through the right side of the infield in the seventh to close the gap to one.
Troy got on the board in the bottom of the third inning thanks to a spark from Donovan Whibbs out of the nine-hole. Whibbs led off the frame with a laser into the gap in right-center field which reached the wall and allowed the Trojan second baseman to leg out his first triple of the season.
Drew Frederic plated Whibbs with a single and moved to third on Logan Cerny’s 17th double of the season. On the first pitch of the ensuing at-bat, Rigsby Mosley hit a deep fly to left to bring home Frederic. The Trojans scored an unearned run following a Frederic single in the fourth.
Kollin Stone (1-2) picked up the win for the Red Wolves after he tossed the final 2.1 innings out of the bullpen. He allowed a run on four hits with a pair of strikeouts.
Marquez Oates (3-2) was tagged with the loss for Troy after he allowed three runs on three hits in the ninth. Max Newton was near perfect in his three innings of relief for the Trojans allowed just one hit to go with a pair of strikeouts.