Matthes Sets Mark, But Tide Loses

TROY--Alabama senior Kent Matthes, the national player for his performance last week, got this week started well as he set an Alabama record by hitting a home run in his sixth consecutive game. Unfortunately, that was not enough to keep Bama from losing to Troy, 6-2, before a near record crowd of 2,413 on a chilly Tuesday night at Riddle-Pace Field.

Troy scored three runs in both the fourth and fifth innings, scoring four runs against the Alabama bullpen, en route to the win. Troy right fielder Michael Precise had three hits and three runs batted in to lead the Trojans' 11-hit attack.

The loss notwithstanding, the big news on the night was Alabama's Kent Matthes setting the Crimson Tide record with his first inning home run. The towering shot over the center field wall gave Alabama a 2-0 lead.

The fifth-inning proved to be the difference maker for Troy, which has one win over the Tide in each of the last four seasons.

Troy right-hander Jeff Green entered the game in the top of the inning with the bases loaded and one out and threw one pitch as Brandon May rapped into an inning-ending double play. In the bottom of the inning, Alabama came within one pitch of escaping a bases-loaded jam, before Michael Precise blew open a close game with a three-run double as Troy took a 6-2 lead.

"That was it," Alabama Coach Jim Wells said. "That was the difference in the game. You only get a couple of opportunities and they took advantage there. We give them credit. The game came down to that and they did it and we did not."

Alabama (5-3) loaded the bases with one out in the fifth inning. Jake Smith drew a leadoff walk and moved to second on Josh Rutledge's one-out single. Taylor Dugas was then hit by a pitch to load the bases with one out to chase starter Travis Burge. Green needed only one pitch to get the Trojans out of trouble as May hit into the inning-ending double play to leave Troy up by one run.

Troy (6-2) loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning and came within a pitch of leaving the bases loaded before Precise slammed a three-run double off the right field wall of reliever Adam Scott to put the Trojans in front 6-2.

Green (2-0) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief for the Trojans. He struck out three and walked one. Head (0-2) was the losing pitcher for the Tide after he allowed four runs and three hits in 1 1/3 innings of work. Josh Storm retired three batters in the ninth for his second save.

Matthes continued his hot hitting with a two-run home run in the first inning to give the Tide a 2-0 lead. Rutledge opened the game with a single to left and scored on Matthes' towering blast to dead center field. Alabama managed only five hits in the loss, none after the fifth inning.

The Trojans scored three times in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 3-2 lead. Steven Rosado led off the inning with a single to right and moved to second on the second balk of the game by UA starting pitcher Nathan Kilcrease. Michael Precise followed with a one-out single to center to score Rosado with the first run. Head replaced Kilcrease on the mound and promptly gave up a two-run home run to Ryan Ditthardt as the Trojans grabbed the 3-2 lead.


*Alabama senior right fielder Kent Matthes picked up two more national accolades on Tuesday as he was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) Proline National Hitter of the Week. He was also named to the College Baseball Foundation "All-Star" lineup for his performance last week for the Tide.

*Matthes has now homered in an Alabama record six straight games, breaking the previous mark of five straight games set by Roberto Vaz (1997) and Aaron Clark (2001). Matthes has seven home runs during his six-game homer streak and those seven home runs lead the NCAA at this point in the season.

*Matthes also recorded his 17th career outfield assist on Tuesday as he threw out Michael Precise at second base in the second inning. He led the Tide with seven assists last season. The 17 career outfield assists rank second in UA history.

*Alabama starter Nathan Kilcrease did not walk a batter in 3 1/3 innings of work against Troy. In the last seven games, Alabama starters have issued one walk in the last 31 innings.

*Alabama has played three straight errorless games.

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