PENSACOLA, Fla. – Clay Holcomb hit his first career home run on the fourth pitch of the game as the Troy baseball team led early but fell behind and couldn’t catch up in a 10-5 loss to Alabama in front of a sold-out crowd of 5,038 at Pensacola Bayfront Stadium on Tuesday.
Alabama (16-8) used a three-run third inning and a grand slam in the fourth to build a 7-1 lead. The Crimson Tide would tack on single runs in the fourth, sixth and seventh to put the game out of reach.
The Trojans (14-11) would attempt to mount a comeback in the eighth. Garrett Pitts and Trevin Hall hit consecutive singles to lead off the inning. One batter later, Jo-El Bennett singled to right field to score Pitts. Nick Masonia later doubled to score both Bennett and Hall to cut the Alabama lead to 10-4. In the ninth, Hall hit a deep fly ball allowing Holcomb to cross the plate and cap the scoring.
Four Troy pitchers pitched two innings each for the Trojans. William Shell, making his first career start, took the loss after allowing five runs – all earned – on five hits and three walks. Shell would finish with three strikeouts.
With runners on first and second in the third, Georgie Salem tripled to right-center field to score both of the runs. Mikey White, who was 4-for-5 in the game, then singled up the middle to make it a 3-1 game. The first three Alabama hitters reached base in the third before Casey Hughston launched the second pitch he saw from reliever Austin Sullivan onto the berm in right field to extend the Crimson Tide lead to 7-1.
Holcomb, Masonia and Tyler Vaughn finished the game with two hits each. Vaughn now has four hits in his last seven at bats. As a team, the Trojans finished with 10 hits and Troy batters have hit 25 home runs in as many games this season. Alabama recorded 13 hits in the game, each team was charged with an error.
It was the first meeting between Troy and Alabama since the Trojans won two games from their in-state rival in the 2013 NCAA Tallahassee Regional.
Troy will return to conference play on Friday at 5 p.m. (CT) as the team travels to Atlanta to take on Georgia State.