*From Troy Media Relations*
Troy, the Sun Belt Conference regular season champions, fell 3-2 to Arkansas State in a Sun Belt Tournament elimination game Friday afternoon at Tigue Moore Field after the Red Wolves rallied from an early deficit.
The Trojans wrap up the Sun Belt Tournament as one of just 21 teams in the country with 40 wins as Troy sits at 40-18 overall.
Troy posted a 20-10 record in Sun Belt Conference action to win its second league title in the past three years. The Trojans played all of the top five seeds in the league on the road, which included road series wins at South Alabama and Florida Atlantic.
The Trojans will now await the NCAA Selection Show on Monday at 11 a.m. on ESPNU to see their destination for an NCAA Regional next weekend.
“I would think being the co-champions and the number one seed after a 30-game schedule in the fifth toughest conference in the country should be enough to secure a spot in the NCAA Tournament,” Troy head coach Bobby Pierce said.
Danny Collins put the Trojans on the board in the third inning with a triple to left field after Logan Pierce reached with his 23rd double of the season. Trae Santos gave Troy a 2-0 advantage with a sac fly to center.
Collins finished 3-for-5 in the contest while Pierce reached base in all five plate appearances with a pair of hits and three walks and Ali Knowles was 2-for-2 with a walk.
The Red Wolves (28-30) got on the board in the fourth on a double by Derek Birginske after Logan Uxa kept the inning alive with a two-out infield single.
Troy had a great chance to build on its lead in the sixth with runners at second and third and one out after Peyton Fuller was hit by a pitch and Knowles doubled. However, John Koch came out of the ASU bullpen and retired the next two Trojans.
ASU opened the sixth with a double and a single before a hit batter loaded the bases. Birginske grounded into a double play that allowed the tying run to score and Colin Massanelli poked a single into left field to drive home the go-ahead run.
The Trojans had runners on the corners in the seventh with just one out, but Koch wiggled out of that jam with a 1-6-3 double play. In the ninth, Pierce drew a walk and Collins singled with two outs, but a fly out to center ended the game.
Koch (4-6) picked up the win for the Red Wolves after tossing 3.2 scoreless innings; he allowed two hits, walked two and struck out three.
Ryan Sorce (6-3) pitched well for the Trojans despite taking the loss. He was charged with three runs on six hits in fiver innings of work.