Troy Americans down Nationals 8-5 in Eufaula
Xavius Burden and Chase Hartley battled for six innings, but Burden came out on the winning end of an 8-5 Civil War victory in Eufaula.
The Troy Dixie Ozone Americans and Troy Nationals battled for bragging rights in the opening round of the Ozone sub-district tournament and the Americans emerged victorious.
“It was a classic Troy vs. Troy battle,” Americans head coach Billy Hixon said. “We didn’t want to have the tournament fall down like that, but it did. You hate to see your buddies on the opening night, but the ironic part is the two Enterprise teams were also paired up together.”
The Americans struck first in the top of the first inning, but the Nationals took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning. Troy’s Americans responded with four runs in the third inning that broke the game open.
“Hunter Baggett had a huge home run in the third inning for us and Patrick Henderson had a big hit that helped us take the lead,” Hixon said. “That inning gave us a little breathing room.”
But the Nationals stormed back and tied the score at 5-5 with three runs in the bottom of the inning.
“We had that strong third inning that helped us tie the game, but we did not score another run in the game,” Nationals head coach Lin Roberts said. “Everyone on the team gave their all out there tonight, but the ball just didn’t bounce our way.”
Burden and Hartley each threw a complete game on the mound. Burden struck out 11 batters and allowed five runs while walking four for the win. Hartley allowed nine hits and eight runs. He struck out five and walked two.
The Americans scored two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth for the win.
Roberts said the Troy vs. Troy battle was great for one reason.
“I hate it for Troy, but you want that for competition because one of us is going to be knocked out and it is good we played them early,” Roberts said.
Hixon said he expected a great game.
“You have to give it to the Nationals because they are great and this was a great game,” Hixon said. “We just got some key hits at the right times and that got us the win. There was definitely no quit on either side. It was back-and-forth all night and it was a great baseball game for the fans.”
At the plate Rush Hixon scored three runs and had one hit to lead the Americans. Cole LaBrant had two hits and scored one run and Baggett, Burden and Henderson each had one hit and one run scored. Baylor Barnes and Joel Kervin each added a hit.
For the Nationals Reid Rials went 2-for-3 with one run scored. Austin Ingram was 2-for-2 with one run scored. Kayla Benton, Hartley and Devin Hooks each went 1-for-2. Benton scored two runs and Hooks scored one.
The Troy Americans will face the winner of the Eufaula vs. Slocumb game today at 8 p.m. and the Nationals will face the loser of that game at 6 p.m.