Troy gets chance for redemption vs. Bama

Published 10:25 pm Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Every loss stings, the loss Troy suffered to Alabama on May 8 may have stung a little more. Not only are the teams in-state rivals, but Troy always seems to be jockeying for a place in the spotlight despite turning in one solid season after another.

It’s hard competing against the SEC but that’s what Troy players expect to do every season; compete with anyone. Troy didn’t compete as well as they would have liked in their first meeting with the Crimson Tide, an 11-2 loss, but now the two teams face off in the NCAA Regionals where the steaks are higher.

The Trojans will have a chance at redemption with they face Alabama in the first round of the Tallahassee Regional at 11 a.m.

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“[NCAA Regional] is something you dream of your entire life. We didn’t play them that well the last time so we are going to be ready to come out and give them a better game this time,” said pitcher Shane McCain. “We started out slow last time, we’ll be throwing our best pitching against them time around.”

It has not yet been announced who will pitch against Alabama but if McCain’s statement holds true it may be him on the mound to start the postseason. McCain, the Sun Belt’s Pitcher of the Year, finished the season with an 8-1 record and a 3.53 ERA.

Troy head coach Bobby Pierce played for the Crimson Tide and served as an assistant from 1990-94. Pierce has a more personal feeling about the matchup though its more due to where the game is played rather than who it is being played against.

“My grandson is in Tallahassee so I was glad to see that come up. Now my wife and I get to go enjoy a regional tournament with our team and double-dip with our grandchild as well,” Pierce said. “It’s going to be a good regional, a good matchup.”

Though the loss the Crimson Tide was a bitter one, Troy players feel the game will be more competitive the second time around.

“We weren’t in a good place last time, I think we’re all excited to play them again,” first baseman Trae Santos said. “We’ve really got to start swinging the bats a little better but we’re confident, not pressing. We’re just ready to get out there and play.”

Troy is 8-18 all-time against Alabama and 1-2 in games played on neutral fields. Five of the Trojans eight victories over the Tide have come in the Bobby Pierce Era. The Trojans have played Alabama three times in NCAA Regional contests falling all three times.