EMOTIONAL DAYPublished 11:00pm Monday, June 3, 2013
Troy rallies to knock of Bama, runs out of pitching against Florida State
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — For a few minutes on Sunday afternoon, Bobby Pierce felt that his Troy Trojans were a team of destiny.
The Trojans rallied for four runs in the bottom of the ninth to knock Alabama out of the NCAA Regionals in Tallahassee. Then, just two hours later, the Trojans found themselves leading the No. 7 national seed Florida State 3-2 midway through the fourth inning.
However, one swing by the Seminoles’ center fielder Brett Knief gave Florida State the lead for good on a massive grand slam. The home run was the key at bat in a seven-run fourth inning for the Seminoles, one that put a dash on another Trojan upset.
Despite the loss, and end of the season, Troy head coach Bobby Pierce looked back on the season positively.
“I am extremely proud of our team,” Bobby Pierce said. “I told these guys like five weeks before we won the (Sun Belt regular season) championship, that we were going to win it, and we were 8-7 at the halfway point. When you see things in a team, good things happen, and that is what I saw in this ball club.”
Troy went toe-to-toe with the highly ranked Seminoles for much of the game, but seemed to run out of pitching as the games wore on. Troy used five pitchers against FSU, and four in the early game against Alabama.
The game against Alabama early in the day on Sunday provided one of the more dramatic finishes in the history of the Division 1 era of Troy baseball. The Trojans received key at bats from bench players Kyle and Brandon Brown to score four runs in the ninth to rally and beat the Crimson Tide 9-8.
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.
Brandon Brown came to the plate, after Jacob Nixon was hit by a pitch, and drew a game-ending, RBI walk.
Pierce said that the game will be memorable because of the last at bat the Trojans had.
“There have been a lot of big wins for me, but that one will rank high just for the way it happened,” said Pierce. “It looked like we were down and out for the count, but we knew we weren’t down and out. I’m sure to everyone watching, they thought it was over, and then bang, bang, boom, it was over. But in our favor.”
Troy fell to Florida State 11-4.
Troy players Josh McDorman and Trae Santos were named to the All-Regional Team. Florida State pitcher Luke Weaver was named the regional MVP, after a 14 strikeout performance versus Troy on Saturday.
Troy finished the season 42-20, and reached the program’s second-ever Regional championship round.