Trojans season comes to an end

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CONWAY, SC – Little Rock’s season came to an end in heart-breaking fashion as Troy rallied for two runs in the ninth to earn the 5-4 walk-off victory in an elimination game of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament, Thursday afternoon at Springs Brooks Stadium.
Jose Torres earned the start for the maroon and silver throwing 5.1 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits. The San Diego, Calif. native racked up three strikeouts without surrendering a walk. Donavin Buck was masterful in his relief outing, nearly matching his longest outing of the season. The senior threw 3.1 innings out of the bullpen.
Buck was incredible down the stretch for Little Rock, going 24 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run.
Four Trojans notched multi-hit days. Ryan Benavidez led the way with a 3-for-3 performance, reaching base every time he came to the plate in his final game in the maroon and silver. Nick Perez went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer while Christian Reyes and Nathan Lyons each notched 2-for-4 days at the plate. All of Little Rock’s runs came off the bats of Perez, Troy Alexander and James Gann, each homering in the contest.
The Trojans wasted no time getting on the board in the first inning when Nick Perez hit a two-run homer to left-center field to give Little Rock an early 2-0 lead. His first long ball of the year scored Christian Reyes who led off the game with a base hit to center field.
Troy replied with a home run of their own in the bottom half of the first to cut the lead in half.
Little Rock got back to work in the sixth inning after both teams went scoreless for four consecutive innings. Troy Alexander and James Gann hit back-to-back solo home runs to extend the lead to 4-1. Alexander’s 12th homer of the year cleared the batter’s eye in center field while Gann hit an opposite field big fly for his eighth home run of the season.
Troy answered in the bottom half of the sixth with a two-run home run to cut the Little Rock lead to 4-3. Donavin Buck came on to relieve Torres in the bottom of the sixth and induced an inning-ending double play on the first pitch he threw to get out of the jam.
Both teams went scoreless in the seventh and eighth innings. In the bottom half of the ninth, Little Rock was able to record the first two outs of the inning but a two-run double off the bat of Troy’s Drew Frederic was the finishing blow to earn the walk-off victory for his team.
Little Rock’s season comes to an end as a monumental one in the record books. The team tallied a program-record 18 conference wins, a 17-7 victory over Arkansas in the teams’ first-ever meeting and Riley Pittman set the program’s all-time record for home runs, finishing with 27 in his career.

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