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Troy ends season with Regional loss

Special to the messenger

OXFORD, Miss. - For the second straight day, the Trojans shot themselves in the foot with three critical errors as they fell to Sam Houston State 5-4 in an elimination game in the Oxford Regional.

&#8220We came out exactly how we wanted to today,” assistant coach Mark Samrtt said. &#8220Our defense let us down today, but we never quit and that showed in the ninth inning.”

The Trojans were able to mount a rally and get two runners on with no outs in the top of the ninth but could only manage to get one runner around. Pinch-hitter Beau Brooks singled to start the inning followed by a walk to freshman Steven Felix. Senior Clint Robinson singled up the middle scoring Brooks closing the lead to 5-4 but that was as close as the Trojans would get.

Troy (34-27) got on the board in the first inning when senior Edgar Ramirez hit his 12th home run over the wall in left center, giving the Trojans the early 1-0 lead.

Troy extended its lead to 3-0 in the top of the third inning when Ramirez singled to left and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Senior Clint Robinson singled to right, scoring Ramirez. Senior Josh Dew singled, moving Robinson to third with sophomore Trevor Tyre picking up the RBI on a sacrifice fly.

SHSU (39-23) knotted the score at 3-3 in the home half of the third inning. Clint Mann led off with a single followed with another single form Keith Stein. Mann scored on an RBI double from Bobby Verbick. After an RBI sacrifice fly from Karl Krailo and a RBI single form Austin Boggs, the Bearkats and the Trojans were tied.

Senior Joe Hallahan (5-7) took the loss on the hill in his final collegiate outing for the Trojans. He threw six innings allowing five runs (three earned) on eight hits. Hallahan walked one batter and struck out two. Dew came on in relief throwing the final three innings walking one batter and struck out one.

&#8220We are very proud of Joe and they way he pitched,” Smartt said. &#8220I just hate we didn't play they way we should behind him.”

Jesse Marshall got the start on the mound but did not factor in the decision. He tossed 3 2/3 innings giving up three runs on six hits. Stephen Price (1-0) hurled 2 2/3 innings keeping the Troy hitters off-balance as he walked one and struck out two. Luke Prihoda (18) came in to close out the game in his normal fashion as he threw the final 2 2/3 innings giving up one hit and walked one batter.

Ramirez led the Trojans at the plate with two hits and an RBI with Robinson collecting two hits and two RBI.

&#8220Coach Pierce and I are very proud of where our program is, especially playing in back-to-back regionals,” Smartt said. &#8220Without these seniors, we are nowhere near here and this group will be remembered for a long time for what they have done to get us here and will be back next year looking to get back to the post-season.”

The Trojans ended their season at 34-27. The loss was the final game for 10 Trojan seniors. Ramirez, Robinson, Dew, Hallahan, Clegg Snipes, Ricky Ibarz, Kevin Weidlich, Matt Carlo, Ben Woods, and pitcher Bert Elliot were the members of the 2007 senior class.

On Friday, the Trojans came into the game with Southern Mississippi as the best fielding team in school history, but after surrendering 14 runs on 16 hits, including five crucial errors, Troy was left hanging its head in the opening game of the 2007 Oxford Regional as it fell 14-1.

Southern Miss (39-21) took full advantage of the four errors from the Trojan fielders in the first two innings as it put up nine runs in the first two frames. Designated hitter Luke Adkins hit a two-run home run in the scoring parade for USM.

&#8220We did not play our game today,” head coach Bobby Pierce said. &#8220We can't play like that and expect to win.”

Troy (34-26) scratched its only run across the board in the top of the fourth when sophomore Trevor Tyre singled to left and advanced to third on a single from junior Bryan Miller. Catcher Beau Brooks popped up to the short stop down the line scoring Tyre giving the Trojans their only run of the day.

&#8220I was not expecting us to play like this today,” senior Clint Robinson said. &#8220I made mistakes and I let my team and coaches down and we will have to come back tomorrow.”

Senior Clegg Snipes (6-6) lasted only two innings giving up six hits and nine runs with only four of the nine being earned. Senior Jonathan Sabat tossed three innings giving up eight hits and five runs and struck out three batters. Juniors Neal Jordan and Rob Brown finished the game on the hill for the Trojans.

&#8220I didn't get ahead of hitters today,” Snipes said. &#8220When you do that you will not be successful.”

Ryan Belanger (8-4) got plenty of run support as he took the win. He tossed seven innings and only allowing one run to score on eight Trojan hits while striking out four.