ASU Baseball knocks off Troy, 4-2 - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

ASU Baseball knocks off Troy, 4-2

Greg Matthews pitched seven strong innings and Waldyvan Estrada and Richard Amion each had two hits as Alabama State baseball defeated Troy 4-2 Wednesday night at the Wheeler-Watkins Baseball Complex.

Alabama State (11-17) won its fifth consecutive home game in defeating the Trojans (12-12) for the first time in the 16-game series history.

"I'm elated, to say the least," head coach Mervyl Melendez said. "We played a heck of a game, and we played a heck of a team. I thought Greg threw the ball extremely well today. He kept the ball, for the most part, down in the zone, and to me that was the ball game."

Matthews (3-4) pitched seven innings, allowing seven hits and two runs, walked three and struck out two. He was aided by several great defensive plays by the ASU defense, taking advantage of Troy miscues on the base paths.

Alabama State took the lead for good in the second inning. Trailing 1-0, Estrada led off with a double to left center and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Darrion Pedro followed with a single to center field to tie the score. Leo Rojas then laid down a sacrifice bunt, and reached on a Troy throwing error, allowing Pedro to score from first to give the Hornets a 2-1. Rojas, who reach third on the play, later scored on a squeeze bunt by Derrick Sanders as the Hornets took a 3-1 lead.

ASU scored again in the fourth inning as Estrada again doubled to left center, scoring Richard Gonzalez, who had walked, extending the lead to 4-1.

With Alabama State leading 4-2 in the eighth inning, Troy loaded the bases with one out. However, Armando Ruiz came out of the bullpen to strikeout back-to-back batters to end the threat. With one out in the ninth, Emmanuel Marrero's diving play to his left and flip to Rojas for the second out saved a hit and kept the Trojans from having at least one runner in scoring position.

"Very tough situation; bases loaded with one out and all they need to do is put the ball in play and they may get one run," Melendez said of the game situation in which Ruiz entered the game. "He was able to strike out the last two batters in that inning, and that was huge for us. Then, a heck of a play by Marrero up the middle to keep the tying run from reaching base. To be able to win ball games, you need to make great plays and that was the case tonight for us."

The Hornets return to action Saturday and Sunday in a home three-game Southwestern Athletic Conference series against defending champ Alcorn State. First pitch for Saturday's doubleheader is 1 p.m.

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