Reversed call costs Troy in 2-1 loss

Published 5:20 pm Saturday, February 25, 2012

HATTIESBURG, Miss. – Troy dropped a tough 2-1 decision to No. 28 Southern Mississippi on Saturday.

Trailing 2-0 in the seventh, the Trojans looked to score on what would prove an influential and controversial play. After a lead-off walk by Jakob Nixon, Josh McDorman singled to right field. As pinch runner Ali Knowles advanced to third, an errant throw hit the netting above the fence behind the third base line. Initially, umpires ruled the ball dead, halting play, allowing Knowles to score and granted McDorman third. After a lengthy conference, the ruling was reversed and the runners were placed at second and third.

Troy (3-2) would eventually score on a wild pitch but were retired before inflicting any more damage.

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“It kept us from tying the game, actually,” head coach Bobby Pierce said. “It was the right call but the fact that they called the ball dead kept us from scoring one run.”

The Trojans would fail to score on several other opportunities. In all, Troy left nine runners on base, six of those were in scoring position.

Troy would threaten again in the eighth. Danny Collins was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, one batter later Logan Pierce singled to right to set the table for the Trojans. Consecutive pop outs would allow the Golden Eagles to escape unharmed.

Sophomore Jimmy Hodgskin was saddled with the loss. Hodgskin (0-1) tossed seven innings, matching his deepest outing from March 3 last season. He would allow two runs, one earned on four hits while striking out four and walking two.

“Jimmy pitched a good ballgame,” Pierce said. “He pitched well enough to win, we just couldn’t get it done offensively.”

Southern Mississippi starter Jake Derhoff (2-0) was solid throughout allowing just four hits in six innings of work.

Troy has produced just 11 hits in the first two games of the series, though they out-hit Southern Miss 5-4 on Saturday.

Clay Holcomb singled and doubled to lead the Trojans at the plate, finishing 2-for-4.

Troy will look to win the series over Southern Mississippi in the rubber match on Sunday.

“We’re in good shape,” Pierce said. “We need to do more offensively and be more of a presence at the plate.”

The Trojans were 0-for-9 at the plate with runners in scoring position on the afternoon and are just 2-for-17 in the series.

Right-hander Adam Purdy (0-1, 18.00) will likely get the start for the Trojans on the mound.

First pitch is set for 1p.m.