MONTGOMERY, Ala. For the second straight season the Troy Trojans needed extra innings to defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide, this time 5-4 in 10 innings at Riverwalk Stadium in Montgomery.
Shohei Fujita, who entered the game as a pinch runner, ripped a bases-loaded one-out single to left field to score Daniel Porter with the winning run. A.J. Howard, who worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the top half of the inning, earned his second victory of the season. Josh Copeland, who came in for Austin Hyatt in the ninth, was the losing pitcher.
Alabama (3-5) struck first with two runs on three hits in the top of the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Sophomore left fielder Brandon May drew a lead off walk and scored on senior first baseman Matt Bentley’s double into the right field corner. After junior right fielder Kent Matthes popped up to center field, junior DH Ryan Rhoden slapped a single up the middle to score Bentley from second base and give UA a 2-0 lead. Sophomore third baseman Jake Smith followed with a single and after junior center fielder Alex Kubal flied out, freshman shortstop Josh Rutledge walked to load the bases. Freshamn second baseman Wilson flied out to the deepest part of the park in left-center as UA left the bases loaded.
Troy (9-1) scored single runs in the second and third inning to tie the game at 2-2. In the second, Lance Miller reached on a leadoff single and moved to third on Bart Pettus’ double to right-center field. Adam Bryant grounded out to Josh Rutledge to score Miller from third base. In the third, Troy put four consecutive runners on base with two outs to tie the game. Beau Brooks reached on a two-out double and later scored on a throwing error by UA second baseman Ross Wilson.
Alabama regained the lead in the top of the sixth inning when Kubal reached on an error by Troy shortstop Bart Pettus and later scored on an infield ground out by Rutledge to give the Tide a 3-2 lead.
Troy immediately tied the game in the bottom of the sixth when Michael Percise slammed the first pitch of the inning over the wall in left field into the teeth of 28 mile per hour wind to tie the game at 3-3.
The Crimson Tide took a 4-3 lead in the top of the eighth inning when Matthes slammed his first home run of the season over the right field wall.
The Trojans tied the game in the bottom of the inning on three straight one-out singles by Precise, Pettus and Adam Bryant. Bryant’s infield single scored pinch-runner Daniel Peterson from third base, but Pettus was picked off at second base on a heads up play by Rutledge at shortstop.
Alabama and Troy concludes this two-game series with a 6:30 p.m. (CDT) game on Wednesday, March 5, at Sewell-Thomas Stadium in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide drops to 3-5 on the season while the Trojans improve to 9-1.
*Freshman shortstop Josh Rutledge (Cullman, Ala.) went 2-for-4 with one RBI against Troy to extend his hitting streak to seven games.
*Junior catcher Kyle Moore (Wetumpka, Ala.) celebrated his 22nd birthday on Tuesday.
*Alabama stranded 12 base runners in the game against Troy, including the bases loaded in the second and 10th innings. The Crimson Tide is 1-for-8 (.125) this season with the bases loaded through eight games.
*Alabama left fielder Brandon May and center fielder Alex Kubal made outstanding defensive plays in the Crimson Tide outfield in the bottom of the ninth inning to force extra innings. May made a leaping catch of fly ball against the left field wall for the first out and Kubal ended the inning with a diving catch in the left-center field gap.
*Troy shortstop Bart Pettus is the grandson of former Alabama football and baseball standout Gordon Pettus. Pettus was senior on the Alabama football team in 1948 and was senior on the baseball team in 1949. He later served as the Supervisor of Football Officials for the Southeastern Conference Office during his athletic career.