Troy rallies to stun Alabama, 9-8Published 3:17pm Sunday, June 2, 2013
Troy’s official colors are cardinal, silver and black, but different one was on the mind of the over 3,000 fans at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee…Brown.
Troy scored four runs in the ninth inning to stun Alabama 9-8 in an elimination game at the Tallahassee Regional. Brandon and Kyle Brown came off the bench late in the game, and each delivered at bats that will be remembered in Troy baseball lore for years.
Kyle doubled down the left field line in the ninth to score Tyler Vaughn and Danny Collins, and cut the Crimson Tide lead 8-7. Later in the inning Matthew Howard singled in Tanner Hicks, who was pinch running for Kyle, to tie the game at eight.
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Brandon Brown came to the plate, after Jacob Nixon was hit by a pitch, and drew a game-ending, RBI walk.
“That was a great example of who we are and what we’ve been all year,” Troy assistant coach Mark Smartt said. “To get four in the ninth in this environment was a special thing. I couldn’t be prouder of all our players and it took everybody. We had pitchers running. We had guys getting big hits.”
Kyle Brown last appeared in a game on April 17, and had not recorded a hit since March 17 against South Alabama. He said that he was looking for a pitch to hit, and he got one.
“I was just trying to get a good pitch to hit,” Brown said. “I got down two strikes in the count, thought I might see a fastball and just had to battle with two strikes and get a ball I could hit.”
Troy’s starting pitcher, Ryan Sorce, went only five-and-two-thirds innings, but was picked up down the stretch by Howard, Nate Hill and Jeremy McGowan. The Trojan bullpen gave up six hits, but kept Troy in the game.
Troy rallied from being at least three runs down twice in the game. Midway through the sixth, Troy found itself down 4-1. Later in the inning, the Trojans scored three runs to tie the game. Josh McDorman delivered the biggest shot of the inning with a monstrous double to center field, scoring Vaughn and Logan Pierce.
Brandon Brown, the Trojans’ every-day catcher for the majority of the season, came off the bench late and delivered the winning at bat against one of the nation’s best relief pitchers.
Ricky Castillo set the freshman Alabama record for saves on Saturday, but faltered on Sunday. Castillo gave up two hits, four runs and walked three in just two-thirds of an inning.
“I give Brandon Brown a lot of credit for taking the walk,” said Smartt. “That’s hard to do but it showed a lot of spirit, a lot of character, a lot of heart. The words ‘all in’ really do mean that and I couldn’t be prouder of our team.”
Troy will face Florida State later today in another elimination game. Trojans must defeat the Seminoles twice to get to Super Regionals next week.