Trojans fall in final innings to No. 8 Auburn
MONTGOMERY – It was almost a storybook ending. The Troy State Trojans were heading into the eighth inning leading the No. 8 ranked Auburn Tigers 8-7 before a crowd of 3,064 at Paterson field, but then things went terribly wrong.
Coach John Mayotte and Foy Shemwell were lost pleading their case for the Trojans to leave them short-handed and allow the Tigers to open the floodgates in the eighth. The Tigers would then score four runs after the third out on a passed ball to leave Troy State wondering how things could go so bad so fast.
The entire game was not a down note for the Trojans. They were able to overcome a four-run deficit by the Tigers in the sixth to show that they were not a mid-week pushover team for Auburn to warm up for LSU this weekend.
The Tigers led 7-3 for most of the game, just as people had expected, with Troy State’s runs coming on an Auburn error and a Collin Holder RBI in the second and another on a passed ball in the third.
Then, the Trojans offense and defense came together.
Trojan Pitcher Shawn Andrew’s began to cruise sending Auburn on a three-inning scoreless drought. And with Andrew’s freezing the Tiger offense the Trojans turned it on in the sixth.
Foy Shemwell and Collin Holder reached base to open the inning. Brandon Davis then smashed a RBI single to put the Trojans down only 7-5. Marek Driver followed the trend with a two-run single of his own to tie the game at 7-7. Auburn pitcher Jacob Sumner’s wild pitch then allowed Leroy Dunn to score to give the Trojans an 8-7 lead.
The Trojans upset of the year seemed to be close at hand, but in the eighth inning things fell to pieces for Troy State.
A passed ball on what would have been the third out of the inning allowed the Tigers to tie the game and extend the inning. Todd Faulkner then delivered a three-run shot that put the Tigers up 11-8 and shattered the Trojans confidence.
The Trojan bats fell silent in the eighth and ninth innings allowing the Tigers to coast the rest of the way for the comeback win.
For the Trojans overcoming the Tiger lead only to let the game slip away was devastating. "When you have the opportunity to win coming in with a one run lead and then things happen to you it’s a bitter pill to take," said Coach Jerry Martinez.
But Coach Martinez and the staff were still pleased with what they saw. "Coach Mayotte and the staff are proud of the kids," said Martinez. "They played hard the whole game."
The Trojans were led at the plate by Collin Holder who was two-for-four with an RBI. Brandon Davis and Marek Driver were both one-for-four with two RBI’s apiece.
The loss dropped the TRojans to 13-18.
Troy State will next face Mercer in a TAAC weekend series at home starting Friday.