ALA-BAMMEDPublished 10:19pm Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Crimson Tide uses grand slam to roll past Troy 10-5 in neutral-site game
By Steve Barnes
PENSACOLA, Fla. — Off the bat, things looked great for Troy.
After that, the bats went silent.
Alabama offense erupted and the Trojans went dormant as the Tide rolled to a 10-5 win at Bayfront Stadium Tuesday before a soldout crowd of 5,038.
Clay Holcomb drilled the fourth pitch of the game over the left-field fence to give the Trojans a sudden 1-0 lead. Holcomb was more surprised than anyone the ball got out of the park.
“I saw a couple of fastballs up and I just tried to hit the next one hard,” Holcomb said. “I just wanted to get the barrel of the bat on the ball and the wind helped it get out of here. Usually when I get one up in the air it is a bad thing.”
Not this time. However, the ball did not quite make it into Pensacola Bay located about 100 feet past the fence.
“I knew it wasn’t in the water,” Holcomb said. “I don’t have that kind of pop.”
No one else had that much pop either, although Troy ended up only being outhit 13-11.
Alabama starter Nick Eicholtz went seven strong innings, surrendering just three hits and the one homer. He also struck out nine while delivering 109 pitches.
“There guy pitched inside as well as I’ve seen a young kid pitch,” Troy coach Bobby Pierce said. “He hit his spots all night.”
The Crimson Tide scored three runs in the second, four in the third and one in the fourth to easily race past Troy.
“We have to tip our caps to Alabama,” Pierce said. “They had the better game, and they had the two big innings early.”
After falling behind 10-1, the Trojans rallied with three runs in the top of the eight inning, keyed by a two-run double Nick Masonia. Masonia led the team by going 2-for-4.
“I liked we battled back,” Pierce said. “We scored a few runs late and we did end up with 11 hits.”
Holcomb and Tyler Vaughn each had two hits for the Trojans.
Apart from the loss, the experience was a good one for Troy, playing in the minor league stadium.
“It was a great atmosphere down here,” Pierce said. “It was a great opportunity for us.”
Alabama was led by Mikey White who went 4-for-5. Pensacola native Austen Smith was 3-for-4 and Casey Hughston provided the big blast with a grand slam for the Tide.
Bama improves to 16-8, Troy falls to 14-11.
Troy travels to Atlanta this weekend to face Sun Belt Conference foe Georgia State.
The Trojans and Panthers will play a three-game set. First pitch for Friday’s game is set for 5 p.m.