June 4, 2006
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - The Southern Miss baseball team saw its ninth inning rally, which produced the potential game-winning runs on base, come up short today, as the 2006 season comes to a close with a 6-5 loss to Troy at the Tuscaloosa Regional.
With the loss, Southern Miss ends its season at 39-23. Troy improves to 47-15 and advances to the Tuscaloosa Regional championship game against Alabama.
"It was a hard fought game and we played hard to the end," Southern Miss Head Coach Corky Palmer said. "We hit them with a four-run second inning and we couldn't extend it. We should have seized the moment and put the game out of reach, but we couldn't. I thought it might take eight, nine or 10 runs to win.
"It just wasn't in the cards today, but our program is in good shape. We're going to have a young, exciting team next year."
Southern Miss put four runs on the board in the second. With one out, Drew Carson walked and went to third as Luke Adkins reached on a fielding error by Troy second baseman Edgar Ramirez. Then with two outs, Jody Blount reached on a high throwing error by Trojan third baseman Jared Keel, allowing Carson to score. Brian Dozier then delivered a RBI single to right, scoring Adkins, but a throwing error by Trojan catcher Beau Brooks allowed Blount to score, as Dozier went to second. Trey Sutton followed with his second triple of the season to the right field wall, scoring Dozier, to make the score 4-0.
Troy got its first run of the game in the fifth, as Robinson homered to right field, cutting the Golden Eagle lead to 4-1.
The Trojans put four runs on the board in the sixth, to take a 5-4 lead. Ramirez singled to start the inning and went to second after Tom King was hit by a pitch. Mike Felix then followed with a single, before a RBI single by Josh Dew plated Ramirez. Following a pitching change to Matt Caire, Blake Green scored King with a RBI sacrifice fly to right field, before Caire struck out Clint Robinson for the second out in the inning. But Jared Keel singled to center, scoring Felix and pinch hitter Bryan Madril reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. Ian Craze then singled to left, which scored Dew, giving the Trojans a 5-4 lead.
Southern Miss had a chance in the seventh, as Kevin Coker singled to right to start the frame. Dozier walked with one out, as Coker went to second, but the two players were left stranded.
Troy made the score 6-4 in the bottom of the eighth. Green walked to start the inning and advanced to second as Keel grounded out off Daniel Best's arm with one out. But Josh Blackwell followed with a bloop RBI single into center field, scoring Green, giving the Trojans a two-run advantage.
Southern Miss got a one out walk by Blount in the bottom of the ninth and a two out single by Sutton to move Blount to second. Maddox then singled up the middle to score Blount, to make the score 6-5. But Dew got Toddric Johnson to ground out to second base to end the game.
Ryan Ellison (3-1) got the win for Troy, working six innings, allowing five hits and four runs, walking one and striking out five.
Ryan Belanger (8-3) took the loss, working five innings, allowing eight hits, five runs, walking one and striking out two.
Sutton and Maddox each had two hits to lead Southern Miss today.
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