MOBILE, Ala. – Troy’s bats fell silent as the sixth-seeded Trojans dropped its winner’s bracket game to No. 2 UT Arlington 7-3 Thursday night in the Sun Belt Conference Baseball Championships at Stanky Field.
The Trojans managed just two hits through the first six innings and committed three errors defensively. Tanner Hicks labored through 6 2/3 innings surrendering five runs – four earned – on 10 hits. The senior struck out six and walked one. He took the loss to fall to 2-10 on the season.
UT Arlington (32-25) jumped out to an early lead on Matt Shortall’s three-run home run in the top of the first inning. Shortall has been a Trojan-killer this season, batting .412 (7-17) with 10 RBIs in four games against Troy.
Troy (25-31) was able to answer in the bottom half. Clay Holcomb was hit by a pitch to start the frame and Ali Knowles followed with a single. After Garrett Pitts advanced both runners with a sacrifice bunt, David Hall rolled a ball to third base but was misplayed for an error allowing Holcomb to cross.
Mavericks’ starter Zach Thompson was solid all night in earning his fifth victory of the year. The right-hander tossed 7 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits and struck out six. After David Hall led off the bottom of the fourth with a double, Thompson retired nine consecutive batters before TJ Binder walked to start the seventh. In the seventh, Trevin Hall followed Binder’s walk with a double before Jo-El Bennett grounded out to third base to score Binder making it a 5-2 game.
Travis Sibley singled through the left side with two outs in the ninth to extend the Mavericks lead to five runs. Peyton Fuller would pick up an RBI pinch-hit single in the bottom half to cap the scoring.
UT Arlington outhit the Trojans 12-7, but the Mavericks stranded 12 runners. David Hall finished the game 2-for-4 to record his 23rd multiple-hit game of the year.
Troy will play third-seeded Arkansas State at 6:30 p.m. on Friday in a rematch of Wednesday’s opener; the Trojans took the first meeting 4-3 in 13 innings.