Trojans fall in heartbreaker to Alabama in NCAA Regional

Published 8:24 am Sunday, June 4, 2023

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The Troy Trojans dropped an 11-8 loss to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the semifinal round of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional on Saturday.

In a back-and-forth battle, the Trojans and Tide exchanged leads throughout the game. Going into the sixth inning, the game was tied 6-6, when Alabama’s Andrew Pinckney drilled a solo homer that put the Tide up 7-6.

In the bottom of the sixth, however, Troy All-American Shane Lewis hit an RBI single that drove in Tremayne Cobb Jr. for the tying run. Kole Myers then hit a sacrifice fly that drove Donovan Whibbs in to put the Trojans up 8-7.

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Troy’s solid defense in the next two innings helped the “Troy Boys” maintain that lead going into the ninth inning. The Trojans even held the Tide off – who had the bases loaded – in the eighth. The ninth inning is when things came undone for the Trojans.

The Trojan defense secured two outs early in the top of the ninth but when it seemed Troy easily had the third out secured an errant throw to first base led to an error, allowing Alabama’s Caden Rose and Will Hodo to score to put the Crimson Tide up 9-8. Pinckney then belted an RBI triple that extended the lead to 10-8 when a Trojan dropped the fly ball. Next, a Trojan missed a ground ball allowing Alabama to further extend the lead to 11-8.

After Troy managed to get out of the inning, giving themselves one last chance in the bottom of the ninth, Alabama placed closer Alton Davis II on the mound. Davis struck out the first batter and then the Crimson Tide turned a double play to secure the win.

Kyle Mock went 2-for-4 at the plate with a run, while Lewis went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run for Troy. William Sullivan and Kole Myers both hit home runs. Logan Ross pitched two innings before suffering an injury. He struck out three batters and gave up three hits and two earned runs. Kristian Asbury struck out three batters and gave up four hits and one earned run in four and 1/3 innings pitched. The Trojan defense had four fielding errors on the night.

For Alabama, Pinckney went 3-for-4 with a home run, a triple, two RBIs and two runs. Rose went 2-for-3 with a home run, a double, two RBIs and three runs. Garrett McMillan pitched four innings with two strikeouts, while giving up six hits and six earned runs. Davis earned his eighth save of the year and gave up no hits or runs with one strikeout in one inning on the mound.

Troy now faces Boston College in a rematch in an elimination game on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Tuscaloosa. The winner will move on to face Alabama in the finals later tonight. If that team defeats Alabama, then a final deciding game will be held on Monday to see who advances to the Super Regional round of the NCAA Tournament.