TSU fights Knights

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 1, 2003

The race for the Atlantic Sun Tournament is winding down for the Troy State baseball team.

The Trojans have only nine conference games left and, at 13-11 in the conference, are currently in tournament position. Troy State is fourth in the conference and the tournament invites the top six teams.

However, the Trojans are only 1.5 games out of being in eighth place as the teams battle for tournament positioning.

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That makes this weekend's series against Central Florida very important. Troy State faces UCF in a three-game set starting Saturday at 4 p.m. with a doubleheader. The third game will be Sunday at 1 p.m.

The Golden Knights (27-20, 10-11) are surprisingly near the bottom of the conference, but that fact only makes them more dangerous.

"They are not in the tournament right now, but we know they'll be playing hard to try to get back in the race," Troy State head coach Bobby Pierce said.

The Trojans were in much better position a week ago but were swept on the road by conference leader Florida Atlantic. The Trojans also lost the midweek game to South Alabama and are riding a four-game losing streak.

"We put ourselves in the logjam for the conference tournament by getting swept at Florida Atlantic," Pierce said. "We have to find a way to get a win."

The Trojans also have a 10-game losing streak to the Golden Knights. Last year, UCF ended Troy State's season with a win in the conference tournament. This year, a three-game sweep could end Troy State's chances to get into the tournament.

"Every game is important," Pierce said. "As you get toward the end of the season, they appear to be more important because everyone is trying to get into the tournament."