Tide, Trojans look ahead to Friday matchup

TUSCALOOSA, Ala (WIAT) The Alabama Crimson tide open up the NCAA tournament with the 26th ranked Troy Trojans Friday morning in Tallahassee.  The appearance for Troy is their second in the last three seasons, this selection as an at-large team after winning the Sun Belt Conference with a record of 40-18.

The Trojans lost to Alabama in Tuscaloosa late in the season, a loss that neither team says meant much at all.

“ The timing of that game with where we were with our pitching and where they were at with their pitching was much different.” Said Troy head coach Bobby Pierce.  “Regional play is a whole different level of focus with both teams healthy on the mound and putting their best on the mound…I think Alabama is playing really well late and that’s exactly what you want your team to be doing. Our team has had a great second half run, so I could say the same thing about our team.”

The Trojans will start Sun Belt Conference pitcher of the year  Shane McCain who is 8-3 with a 3.53  ERA on the season.  Alabama will counter with Charley Sullivan (5-6 3.56) who pitched well enough last week vs. LSU to earn the job in the biggest game of the season

“The one thing with Charley is he’s one of the most competitive guys on the mound  Alabama head coach Mitch Gaspard said.  ” I think he’s a good game one starter because he really sets the tone of how we want to play and that’s really a scrappy fiery guy on the mound and really that’s who we are as a team.”k and opponents are batting .284 against the right-hander.

Game one is Friday at 11 on the campus of Florida State University.

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