South Alabama blows past Troy State

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 4, 2003

Troy State's baseball team could not take advantage of numerous base

runners Tuesday night and struggled from the field.

The Trojans (8-6) left two runners on base in the first and left the bases

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

loaded in the third as they failed to get the early lead, then fumbled and bumbled in the field in the seventh as South Alabama (6-6) won 12-2.

"This was a game we were concerned

about after playing 38 innings over the weekend," TSU coach Bobby Pierce said. "We didn't get what we wanted offensively and we made some errors on routine plays defensively."

The Trojans scored only one run in the first four innings and failed to get an early lead against South Alabama.

Freshman outfielder Clint Wade led the bottom of the first inning off well

for the Trojans, but his base running was a forecast of the game. He hit one down the left-field line and could have reached second base. He slipped rounding first, though, and managed only a single.

Ryan Sheffield walked to give the Trojans two runners on with no outs, but Troy State squandered the opportunity. Glen Hardy grounded out to second,

pushing the runners to second and third, but Wade Miller struck out and

Brian Lipman grounded out to the short stop and the runners were stranded.

Troy State stranded 13 runners on the night.

South Alabama clawed its way to a lead in the third inning. Tim Land led off the inning with a triple, becoming the first Jaguar to reach base against Trojan starter Paul Darby.

Darby forced Kevin Sytko into a shallow pop up, but Parker singled in the run. T.J. Touchstone flied out to center, but Darby surrendered walks to

Craig Cole and Ryan Fillingim. Ryan Mulhern singled to push the lead to 3-0.

In the bottom of the third inning, the Trojans again had a chance to score some runs. Wade reached on an error by Jaguar short stop Brett Parker and

moved to second on a passed ball. Sheffield singled Wade home to cut the Jag lead to 3-1. Glen Hardy reached on an error and Wade Miller walked to

load the bases with only one out.

Jaguar pitcher Bert Heath rose to the challenge, though, and struck out Lipman and Ashton McKelvey to thwart the rally.

"The difference in the game was our inability to take advantage of our opportunities to score," Pierce said. "South Alabama is a good offensive team and you can't afford to give up chances to score when you have them."

South Alabama padded the lead in the fifth inning when Fillingim hit a two

run home run to right field. Fillingim hit another two-run homer in the

seventh inning.

South Alabama put the game out of reach in the seventh inning as it scored six runs. Troy State helped the Jags out in the seventh, committing

three errors. Two of those errors came on consecutive at bats.

Hardy hit his third homer of the season in the bottom of the seventh, a solo shot that cut the Jaguar lead to 11-2.

The fifth inning was Darby's (0-3) final inning. He gave up five runs on five hits while walking three and striking out two to take the loss.

Heath (2-1) took the win for the Jaguars.