South Carolina rallies past Troy in World Series

Published 12:12 am Monday, August 2, 2010

While Troy may have been the benefactor of some late-inning magic in the opening round of the World Series in Dothan, the same could not be said for the second round on Sunday night.

In a match up that saw what many considered to be the two top teams in the tournament, the Alabama state champions and the South Carolina state champions faced off in a tight game.

However, in the end, it was the out of town team that came away with a victory thanks to a walk off single, as South Carolina defeated Troy, 4-3.

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“That was a tough one,” head coach Gary Fox said after the game. “I hadn’t really had a chance to talk to the boys yet, but what I did tell them was to keep their heads up.”

After being deadlocked at two runs a piece for over two innings, Troy broke the tie in the top of the eighth inning when Patrick Henderson, who replaced an injured Reilly Fox, scored on a Dothan wild pitch, giving Troy a 3-2 lead.

In the half inning following Troy’s at-bat, Dothan was able to get runners on second and third base against relief pitcher Xavius Burden and with one swing of the bat, Finn Melko proved to be the hero for South Carolina as Dillon Thompson and Tyler Dillon came around to score.

This was Troy’s first loss since the District Tournament, when it fell to Enterprise.

“We have been in a situation like this before,” Fox said. “It was difficult to come out of then, and it will be very difficult to come out of it now – but I don’t expect these guys to quit.

“We have a challenge to overcome,” the coach added.

Overshadowed by the loss was the pitching performance of Austin Ingram, who pitched seven innings, striking out five while giving up two runs off of five hits.

“Austin pitched a great game,” Fox said. “He did everything we needed him to do – he was great (Sunday night).”

Ingram was taken out due to the 95-pitch rule after facing the first batter in the eighth inning.

Unlike its game against Dothan, Troy was unable to produce a big inning.

The Alabama champions were only able to collect five hits, all of which came from the bottom of the order, while the first four batters of the order went a combined 0-11 with one RBI, three walks, two hit batsmen and four strike outs.

“We left too many runners on base,” Fox said. “We had some good chances with some of our best hitters at the plate and we were unable to do anything – and that is something that doesn’t happen often.

“My hat goes off to South Carolina, they pitched a great game,” he said.

With the loss, Troy will now face Louisiana, Monday afternoon at 1 p.m, in an elimination game.

“Hindsight is 20/20,” Fox said.

“We didn’t capitalize on (South Carolina’s) mistakes. But they are a good team.”

At the plate, Reilly Fox went 1-1 with a stolen base, before colliding with the South Carolina shortstop and getting a cut on his finger that required stitches in the second inning.

Fox did not return to the game.

Rush Hixon 1-3 with a run scored, while Jason Fleming finished 1-2 with a run scored.

Devin Hooks brought home Troy’s first run of the night in the fourth inning, and finished the game 1-4, with an RBI while Baylor Barnes finished 1-2.

Burden had Troy’s other RBI when he drew a bases loaded walk in the fourth inning.