Pitching will lead Troy 14’s

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 21, 2002

Sports Editor

To go deep in a tournament, you’ve got to have pitching. And Dixie Boys 14-year-old head coach Cot Wallace said that’s just what his team possesses.

"We’re stronger and deeper in pitching then any other tournament team I’ve ever coached," said Wallace.

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The Troy 14-year-old team opens sub-district action tonight at the Troy Sportsplex against Greenville.

Game time is at 8 p.m. Elba and Luverne will open the tournament at 6 p.m.

Wallace said Troy can go "seven deep" if needed and describes his pitchers as working on"two tiers."

"We have our Tier One pitchers, our starters, which is Brent Kohn, Chase Bradley and Marquez Toney," said Wallace. "Then we have our Tier Two pitchers; Chris Davis, Andrew Powell, Jim Wallace and Drew Walker. Our Tier Two pitchers do an excellent job of throwing strikes and keeping people mixed up with off speed pitches."

Wallace said he would go with either Kohn or Bradley tonight. Toney’s probably Troy’s hardest thrower, but Wallace said right now "he’s struggling to find the strike zone."

Wallace said it would be pitching that carries this team in tournament play.

"All 13 players on our team saw time pitching during the regular season and I think 11 of them were either the No. 1 or No. 2 guy for their teams," he said. "Pitching has been the reason we’ve been able to hang with some of these other teams in our practice games. Hitting has just been okay, but I feel we’ve already faced as good, or better, pitching as we’ll see in the tournament."

Troy has played two practice game sessions in preparation for the tournament, splitting a doubleheader with both Southeastern Montgomery and Enterprise. Wallace was particularly happy to earn the split with Enterprise, which was a World Series squad last season as 13-year-olds.

Enterprise won the first game 9-0, but Troy fought back to win the second 3-1.

"This is the same exact bunch they had last year," Wallace said. "They are a tremendous ball team. Southeastern Montgomery is always a competitive group also so we were happy to split two games up there as well."

Last year, Troy hosted district play and Enterprise won both games. Enterprise won one game going away, but Toney pitched a good contest in the second, holding the visitors to just three hits and walking one batter. But the most damaging hit was a solo-shot home run and Enterprise ended up winning the game 1-0. Troy had two runners advance as far as third base but none could score.

And Wallace said Greenville is one of the "toughest teams" he’s seen. Greenville features the Moore brothers, two twins that alternate pitching and catching and they’ve grown some since helping Greenville win the

Dixie Youth sub-district title two years ago in Troy.

"I think I heard that they’re now both over 6-foot tall and weight about 180 pounds," said Wallace. "The Enterprise coach, who played them last year in sub-districts, said that nobody ever scored more then five runs off either one of them. They’re a very good team. Somebody told me that Luverne

has one of the best teams they’ve ever had this year also so it’s going to be a competitive tournament."