Troy snubbed by NCAA Baseball Tournament

Published 9:13 am Tuesday, May 28, 2024

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On Monday, the NCAA announced all 64 teams for the upcoming NCAA Regional Baseball Tournament and the Troy Trojans were left out.

The Trojans finished third in the Sun Belt Conference regular season but were eliminated from the Sun Belt Baseball Tournament in Montgomery after just three games. After topping Appalachian State in the first round on May 22, Troy lost to Southern Miss on May 23 and were eliminated by Appalachian State on May 24.

The Trojans lost to eventual Conference Champion Southern Miss by a score of 6-5 after the Golden Eagles scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. Will Butcher went 2-for-5 with a home run, three RBIs and a run in the loss. Garrett Gainous pitched five and 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts, while giving up nine hits and three earned runs.

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In the rematch with Appalachian State, Troy took a 2-0 lead early and things were tied up 3-3 going into the seventh inning when the Mountaineers exploded to score seven runs. The Trojans attempted to rally in the ninth, scoring three more runs, but ultimately fell 10-6 to see their season come to an end.

Kyle Mock went 2-for-5 in the rematch with App State with a double, three RBIs and a run. Grayson Stewart pitched three and 2/3 innings with three strikeouts, while giving up one hit and two earned runs. After Troy was eliminated, head coach Skylar Meade made the case for his team’s inclusion in the regional tournament.

“They just handled the game better. You can’t lose focus in tournament baseball, but we compartmentalized a lot in that seventh inning, and it burnt us,” Meade said. “I don’t want to relive it. The Sun Belt continues to get better. I know there’s a lot of bids getting stolen, but we went to the number of places we did this season and came out winning, including Coastal Carolina and Indiana.

“Add in huge home series wins against teams like Louisiana. I don’t like putting this kind of thing in other people’s hands. But we don’t have any regrets about anything this season. We got good players. We got superstars, and we put them in situations to succeed. I know what our team is. We are an NCAA Tournament team. I have no doubt. I remain optimistic.”

In the last month of the regular season, Troy earned conference series wins over both Coastal Carolina – a sweep – and Louisiana, who both made the NCAA Tournament. Troy also earned a series win over Indiana, who also made the NCAA Tournament.

Troy held an RPI of 57 and lost eight of its last 11 games, which likely factored into the decision to leave the Trojans out of the tournament. Meanwhile, Louisiana, Southern Miss, Coastal Carolina and James Madison all made the tournament from the Sun Belt. Alabama was the only team from the State of Alabama to make the tournament.

The Trojans, who won 37 games this season, missed on a chance to earn consecutive NCAA Regional appearances for the first time since 2006-2007.