Troy players celebrate with Jade Sikes (32) after Sikes hit a two-run homerun in the sixth inning to tie the the state championship game against AUM in Muscle Shoals, Ala., Thursday, July 11, 2013. Troy won 9-8 in seven innings. (Photo/Thomas Graning)
Troy players celebrate with Jade Sikes (32) after Sikes hit a two-run homerun in the sixth inning to tie the the state championship game against AUM in Muscle Shoals, Ala., Thursday, July 11, 2013. Troy won 9-8 in seven innings. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

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Sikes’ homer propels OZone Rookies to title

Published 10:28pm Thursday, July 11, 2013

With one swing of the bat, Jade Sikes not only sent the Troy fans in to a frenzy, but also put his team back in the fight for a state title, ultimately winning 9-7.

The Troy OZone Rookies were down to their final strike in the final inning before Sikes connected on “no doubt” home run to tie the game. Troy head coach Chad Copeland said the he knew the game was tied the moment the ball left Sikes’ bat.

“The second that ball left his bat there was no doubt in anybody in the park’s mind that it wasn’t gone,” Copeland said. “The second it went off the bat I started jumping up and down. He got us back in the ball game, and we closed it out later.”

Troy’s defense went to work in the bottom of the inning and shut down AUM to force extra innings.

Troy pushed a couple runs across in the top of the seventh, but saw AUM load the bases with no outs in the bottom of the inning.

Copeland said the Troy defense turned in a masterful job in the final half-inning to turn back the late rally and capture the elusive state title.

“The loaded them up in the seventh, but we got a fly to center and a great through back in by Christian (McCall) to only let them score one,” Copeland said. “We got a big strikeout next, and then got a ground ball to third. It was a nail-bitter there at the end. I am so proud of these guys and they truly battled hard every day.

Members of the OZone Rookies State Champion team include: Brax Barron, Laertis Brantley, Caden Bryan, Max Copeland, Jaylen Devridge, Jackson Giles, Logan Johnson, Christian McCall, Javaris McNair, Jacob Moates, Chance Pollard and Jade Sikes.


7.11.13-Ozone Rookies state championship in Muscle Shoals – Photos by Thomas Graning

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