Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 20, 2000
EUFAULA – The Troy Dixie Minor Nationals erupted for six runs in the first inning and four in the second en route to an 11-1 victory over Dothan Southern in the championship game of the Dixie Minor District Tournament Tuesday night in Eufaula.
With the win, Troy advances to the state tournament to be played in Fairhope, beginning Monday, July 23 and will play the host-team in the opening game. Opening ceremonies for the State Dixie Minor Tournament will be on Sunday, July 22.
For the first time in the tournament, the Nationals were the home team, giving Dothan the first at-bat. Troy starting pitcher Jake Smith struck out the lead-off hitter, the second batter reached on an error, and Smith fielded a grounder for the second out and struck out the clean-up hitter to end any Dothan rally.
Will Starling led the rally for Troy in the bottom of the first by beating out an infield single. Smith and Alex Adams then followed with singles, and Wesley Taylor drove in a run when the first baseman misplayed a throw. David Fleming and Anthony McBryde drew walks, Wesley Hayes and Clay Massey reached on infield errors, and Corey Goodson was hit by a pitch to push in the final run of the inning for a 6-0 lead.
Dothan scored its only run in the second inning after the lead-off batter walked and scored with two outs on a wild pitch.
Lloyd Shilabeer started the four-run second inning for Troy in the bottom of the second when he laced a single into right field. William Teal and Starling followed with consecutive singles, and Smith greeted Dothan’s relief pitcher with a double to drive in two runs. Adams followed with a double down the right field line to drive in two more runs, and a 10-1 Troy lead.
Smith held Dothan scoreless in the top of the third inning, and Teal came on to strike out the first and third batters for Dothan in the top of the fourth inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning Troy won by the 10-run rule when Teal singled with one out, reached second on a wild pitch, stole third and scored when the throw went wild, and the follow-up throw was mishandled at home plate.
Troy cranked out 10 hits, as Teal, Starling, Smith and Adams each had two. Jared Rogers and Shilabeer added one hit each.
Smith earned his third pitching victory of the tournament, allowing one run on no hits and striking out five over three innings. Teal was also strong in his inning pitched, allowing no runs on one hit, while striking out two.