Gator chomped: Trojans drop three games to No. 1 Florida, fall to UAB in mid-week matchup

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(Photo/Troy Athletics)

Sophomore pitcher Tyson Ellis made his first career start on Saturday against Florida. Ellis pitched two innings, allowing two hits and two earned runs.

Kennedy Roy

Staff Writer

The Troy baseball team fell three times to the No.1 Florida Gators in Gainesville, Florida last weekend, dropping two of the games in the final innings. 

The Trojans followed the series with a Tuesday-night loss to the UAB Blazers in Birmingham, Alabama.

The team is now 8-5 after starting the season 7-0. 

The Trojans opened the series last Friday with a hard-fought 3-2 defeat.

The Trojans gave the Gators all they could handle early in the game behind six scoreless innings from junior pitcher Levi Thomas, taking a two-run lead before eventually falling short to the NCAA’s top team.

After the game, Head Coach Mark Smartt discussed the team’s performance.

“You don’t get many opportunities to beat the number one team in the country, and we missed some opportunities tonight, Smartt said. “We just didn’t execute well enough late in the game to beat a team like Florida.

“Levi was good again on the mound and continued to make good pitches at important times.”

 In game one against Florida on Friday, the Trojans allowed 10 hits along with three crucial errors. 

Thomas continued his stellar start to the season with 6 strikeouts in six scoreless innings. In 17 innings pitched, Thomas has had 31 strikeouts and hasn’t given up a single run. 

Drew Frederic posted his fifth three-hit game of the year, going 3-4 at the plate, while Caleb Bartolero and Rigsby Mosley each registered two hits.

The Trojans started the game scoring two runs in the first three innings.

After a quiet middle of the game, the Gators capitalized off two errors and four hits on their way to get three runs on the board, which would ultimately be the difference.

In game two of the series, the Trojans came up short again against the Gators 10-7 after another hot start.

The team accumulated four errors and left 12 men on base in the loss.

After a scoreless first inning, Mosley got the offense going in the top of the second with a grand slam to put the Trojans ahead 4-0.

After a run in the third by Sinquefield, Troy added two more runs in the fourth behind a RBI single by Frederic and a RBI double by Kirk to push the lead to 7-1.

The Gators slowly chipped away at the lead by scoring a run in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth innings before opening it up with a six-run seventh inning to put the Gators ahead for good.

“We didn’t play well enough to win tonight,” Smartt said. “I felt like we were playing not to lose rather than staying aggressive like we were early in the game.

“I like the way our kids competed. There’s no question about their fight.”

In the series finale, the Trojans were handed their fourth loss of the season behind struggling bats offensively. 

Florida struck first for the first time in the series and never looked back as the Trojans struggled to find a groove offensively.

Tyson Ellis made his first career start and lasted 2.6 innings, giving up two runs.

The Trojans concluded their four-game road trip with a mid-week matchup against the UAB Blazers at Young Memorial Field in Birmingham, Alabama.

The Blazers scored the first two runs of the game and held the Trojans scoreless through the first four innings. 

The Trojans finally got on the board with a pair of RBIs in the fifth and seventh innings from Sinquefield and Bartolero to tie the game. 

The Blazers responded with a bases-loaded walk and two unearned runs from Trojan errors.

Troy out-hit UAB with 10 hits compared to the home team’s six, but the Trojans couldn’t drive home runners as they left 10 on base during the game. 

Next, the Trojans travel to Pensacola, Florida, to take on Michigan State, Samford and Louisiana in the Pensacola Cox Diamond Invitational. 

The team will then play the Southern Miss Golden Eagles on Tuesday night in Montgomery, Alabama at the Riverwalk Stadium.

 

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