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Troy Ozone Rookies victorious in opener

The Troy Ozone Rookie team stole a victory in the first round of the Rookie League tournament on Friday night at the Sportsplex, defeating Eufaula 13-9.

The Trojans amassed 21 stolen bases and used a strong performance over the first four innings from its pitching staff to pick up the win.

“That’s the key,” Troy head coach Don Simmons said. “If you don’t steal bases, you won’t win in this league. Every one of our kids is pretty quick and ready to go. They know the signal.”

Troy never trailed in the game, taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when Montana Brown scored from third on an error by the Eufaula catcher.

The big inning for Troy, however, was the fourth, when Troy struck for six runs on just two hits to go up 8-0. Troy made use of two walks, two hit batsmen and 10 stolen bases in the inning.

Troy also had a big sixth inning, scoring four runs on three hits, thanks to RBI singles by Cody Henderson and Eric Lee.

Troy’s second run came in the third, when Hunter Blackmon was hit by a pitch and then stole second and third. Blackmon came home to score on a passed ball to put Troy up 2-0.

Troy tacked yet another run in the fifth, when Montana Brown walked, stole second and then scored on a throwing error by the Eufaula catcher.

Eufaula got on the board with two runs in the fifth, when Brown moved to the mound and gave up a double to Payton Little, followed by an RBI single by Ty Gilmore.

Gilmore later came around to score on a passed ball.

Eufaula would strike for seven more in the sixth thanks to a 2-RBI single from Dakota Robertson and a two-RBI double by Will Gibson, forcing Simmons to remove Brown from the mound with just one out and a runner on third base.

Conner Adler relieved Brown and struck out a batter to end the game.

Simmons said the comeback attempt by Eufaula was evidence of an improved Eufaula team.

“They just started coming back,” Simmons said. “Maybe we had a little bit of a letdown.”

Brown was the only Troy pitcher to give up more than one hit, as Cole Wilson and Kiegan Simmons each pitched two innings of no-hit baseball.

Adler gave up one ht in the sixth.

Wilson struck out three and walked one over the first two innings.

Hayes Lee led Troy’s offense, with two of Troy’s seven singles.

Brown and Blackmon scored two runs and stole four bases each.

With the win, Troy advances to the winner’s bracket to face Enterprise American Saturday at 8 p.m.

Eufaula will take on Enterprise National Saturday at 6 p.m.