Troy plays Wetumpka for title

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 16, 2002

Sports Editor

Even with the loss of ace pitcher Justin Sims, Troy Post 70 continues to roll right along.

Troy beat G.W. Long 13-6 on Friday night, finished off Northview in five innings on Saturday and will play Wetumpka today at Riddle-Pace Field for the Summer Classic Championship.

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Troy worked five different pitchers on Friday against G.W. Long with each finding some degree of success. By the time the game was over, starter David Doty had picked up the win in a contest that saw even Brett Pierce, almost a permanent fixture at second base, see time on the mound.

Josh Sexton went the full five innings in the Saturday night win over Northview, allowing seven hits, but shutting down the latter half of the order in a 12-2 victory. Tyson Pugh’s two-run single in the bottom of the fifth ended the ball game.

Troy’s pitchers have found a way to get the job done and their defense has backed them up. On Saturday night, shortstop Blake Phelps robbed a Northview batter of a sure single, dropping deep into the outfield to make a diving snag. Likewise, Post 70 left fielder Jeremy Jones hawked a long ball down to prevent a basehit.

"Our defense has been making the plays," said Post 70 head coach Russ Jinright. "There’s no doubt about that. We just need to continue to hit the ball like we’ve been doing and play error-free baseball."

Troy was perfect on Saturday night, committing no errors while being helped by the visitors from Dothan. Northview had six errors in the game.

But more importantly, Troy pounded out 14 hits.

"We have to keep hitting the ball like this," said Jinright. "Sims was our No. 1 and he was able to keep us in some close ball games. I don’t know how some of our pitchers would do if they had to go deep into a game. But offensively, we’re just getting the job done right now."

Sims, who will be a senior next season at Charles Henderson, injured his throwing arm last weekend and TSU athletic trainers recommended that he not pitch for the rest of the summer.

After falling behind 1-0 to Northview in the first, Troy took the lead for good in their half of the inning. Brett Pierce scored from third on a wild pitch and Daniel Porter earned an RBI with a hard hit grounder into second.

In the bottom of the second, Clint Pugh drove in two more runs with a double and Jones capped off the third inning with a single RBI, giving Post 70 an 8-2 lead. Tyson Pugh and Kelly would combine on two more hits in the fourth as Troy went up 10-2 at that point in the ball game.

Northview would load the bases twice in the first half of the fourth inning, but Sexton and Troy’s defense didn’t allow any runs to score.

The bats were alive on Friday night as well. Kelly and Clower combined for two singles each, Clint Pugh totalled four hits (two doubles and two singles), and Matt Johnson had a hit. Pierce added a single also in the 13-6 win over G. W. Long.

Jinright said Wetumpka would be a big challenge for Post 70, which improved to 12-2 with the two wins.

"They’ve been hitting the ball well and have scored a lot of runs also," he said.

Game time is at 10 p.m. at Riddle-Pace Field.