Trojans fall to Boston College in NCAA Regional

Published 8:13 am Monday, June 5, 2023

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The Troy Trojans (40-22) baseball season came to an end on Sunday with a 4-1 loss to the Boston College Eagles (37-19) in an elimination game of the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional.

After Boston College got the on the scoreboard first, with a solo home run from Barry Walsh to take a 1-0 lead in the first inning, both sides’ defenses clamped down and did not allow a single run for the next six innings.

During the 2023 season, Troy’s biggest Achilles heel has been fielding. The Trojans came into Sunday ranked 269 in fielding with the eighth most errors in the entire country. After late errors derailed Troy against Alabama, it happened again late against Boston College.

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Boston College scored on a Troy error to go up 2-0 in the top of the eighth. Then, facing two outs, it seemed as the Trojans had the third out secured on a ground ball but as Tremayne Cobb Jr. flipped the ball to the second baseman, the Boston College runner beat the throw. Another Boston College runner rounded third and scored. The runner at second never stopped running, either, and slid into home base as catcher Clay Stearns missed the tag. Mistakes by the Trojan defense gave Boston College a big cushion, taking a 4-0 lead into the final inning.

Facing two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Troy’s Clay Stearns belted a solo home run to cut the Boston College lead to 4-1, but the very next batter was struck out and Troy’s season came to an end.

“It was just one of those games that was going to be decided on one play the way both guys were pitching today; that’s the nature of tournament play,” Troy Coach Skylar Meade said. “I appreciate our guys’ fight today. Grayson (Stewart) and Zach (Fruit) executed the plan well. Our offense was dynamic all year, and it just wasn’t mean to be today. I couldn’t be more proud of the season we put together.”

Despite outhitting Boston College eight hits to just five, the Trojans were only able to earn the one run on the day. Caleb Bartolero led Troy at the plate, going 2-for-4, while Kole Myers went 2-for-5 with a double. Grayson Stewart started on the mound for the Trojans, striking out five batters and giving up four hits with one earned run in six innings pitched. Zach Fruit closed out the game and gave up one hit and no earned runs with five strikeouts in three innings.

Despite the frustrating finish, Meade is excited about where the Troy program is heading.

“We think we’re on a rocket ship and we’re going fast,” Meade said. “We as coaches have zero patience; this (NCAA Tournament berth) is what we expect to do, this is not a shock, this is what we’ve envisioned and there’s a lot more to come.”

Boston College went on to lose to Alabama in the Regional Final by a score of 8-0, meaning the Crimson Tide will advance to Super-Regionals this week. Alabama plays Wake Forest in a Best-of-Three series next.