Troy hangs on to beat Boston College in NCAA Regional

Published 8:13 pm Friday, June 2, 2023

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The Troy Trojans secured an 11-10 win over the Boston College Eagles in the first round of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional on Friday, despite a two-hour rain delay.

The Trojans have been one of the top home run hitting teams in the country in 2023 and it was home runs that ended up being the deciding factor against the Eagles.

With Troy trailing 4-3 in the top of the seventh, Kole Myers drilled a three-run homer that also drove Clay Stearns and Kyle Mock home. After Ethan Kavanagh was walked, Caleb Bartolero extended the lead to 8-4 with a big two-run homer.

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Boston College’s Sam McNulty belted an RBI double that drove in a pair of runs in the bottom of the seventh to cut Troy’s lead to 8-6. Zach Fruit entered the game in relief and got the Trojans out of the inning without giving up another run.

Clay Stearns drove Donovan Whibbs home with an RBI double in the top of the eighth to expand the Troy lead to three runs. Myers then singled up the middle to drive Stearns home and put the Trojans up 10-6.

Boston College answered when Joe Vetrano blasted a three-run homer to cut the Trojan lead to 10-9 in the bottom of the eighth. In the top of the ninth, Troy’s Tremayne Cobb Jr. – facing two outs – drilled a solo homer over center field to extend the Trojan lead to 11-9. That homer would end up being the game winner.

In the bottom of the ninth, Boston College loaded the bases and Peter Burns hit a sacrifice fly to drive in a run and cut the Trojan lead to 11-10. Lance Gardiner then earned two straight outs for the Trojans to secure the 11-10 win.

Troy got off to a hot start in the top of the first inning when Bartolero hit an RBI single that drove Kavanagh and Myers home, and then Donovan Whibbs drove Bartolero home to put the Trojans up 3-0.

Boston College answered with a run in the bottom of the first to cut the Troy lead to 3-3 and in the bottom of the second, Barry Walsh belted a two-run homer to tie the score.

In the bottom of the fifth, Boston College went yard again when Vetrano belted a solo homer to put the Eagles up 4-3.

Bartolero led Troy at the plate, going 2-for-5 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs. Myers went 2-for-4 with a homer, four RBIs and two runs.

Ben Thompson pitched four and 2/3 innings and earned seven strikeouts, while giving up three hits and one earned run. Zach Fruit earned his fifth save of the season and struck out one batter, while giving up three hits and four earned runs in two and 1/3 innings.

Troy will play the winner of Alabama vs. Nicholls in the second round of the regional tournament at 8 p.m. on Saturday night.