Troy Ozone Rookies snag title
The Troy Ozone Rookie team won its district tournament in comeback fashion Tuesday night, defeating Eufaula 10-7.
Troy was down 4-1 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning before they exploded for six runs.
Four players drove in runs in the inning, while two more scored on passed balls.
Troy added three more runs in the fifth. Montana Brown scored from third on a passed ball and Kiegan Simmons and Conner Adler hit RBI singles.
Troy led 10-4 going into the sixth inning before Eufaula mounted a comeback of its own.
Eufaula scored three runs on two hits in the top of the sixth, but Troy pitcher Eric Lee struck out Eufaula’s Riley Arrington to end the game.
Troy coach Don Simmons was elated after the game.
“It feels great,” Simmons said. “I can’t imagine it feeling any better.”
Simmons credited his team’s ability to come back from the early deficit to an old-fashioned rally cap ploy.
“We hadn’t had a dry spot lie that until the first couple of innings of tonight’s game,” Simmons said. “So, in the third inning, we turned our hats around backwards and we just kind of went from there.”
The rally caps did seem to ignite Troy’s bats, as Troy pounded out seven hits and nine runs through the final four innings.
Cole Wilson and Cody Henderson both went 3-for-3 at the plate with an RBI.
Hayes Lee was 1-for-1 with a single, two walks and three stolen bases.
However, the game’s MVP may have been the other Lee on the team, Eric Lee, who pitched the final four innings.
“We knew we couldn’t use Cole (Wilson) to pitch tonight because we used him the other night, so we set it up to have Eric (Lee) pitch the middle two innings,” Simmons said. “Eric was pitching so good, we just decided to leave him in there.”
Lee pitched four innings, giving up four hits, five walks and three earned runs while striking out three batters.
Despite the exciting win, Simmons said he would be sad to see the season end here.
“This is the best team and parents I’ve ever been around,” he said. “Everything that’s been said has been positive.”
Assistant coach Greg Brown was also disappointed to see the team’s time together come to an end.
“These kids have just come together,” Brown said. “There’s been no arguing. I wish every other coach had been able to have this experience. They just didn’t get down, even when they were behind 4-1. Nobody ever got down.”
Click here for a photo gallery from Tuesday’s game