Road to state
Troy capped a perfect run through the Dixie Junior Boys district tournament with an 11-0 victory over Greenville in the championship game Friday night at the Troy Sportsplex.
The Troy 13 year olds outscored the competition 41-1 in three games during the tournament and were above and beyond the best team on the field.
“We really played well all tournament,” Troy head coach Sam Kitchens said. “I am proud of how our defense and pitching performed all week. I just hope it can hold up at the state tournament.”
Troy jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first inning of the championship game Friday and added one in the second and four in the fourth for the mercy-rule shortened victory.
“Our guys have really come together and been playing hard,” Kitchens said. “And now all I can ask is for our guys to be competitive at state and all I ask is that they do their best.”
Chandler Avant, Tripp Blackmon, Chase Smartt, Myles Loving, John Johnson and Brian Adams each scored in the first inning for Troy.
Avant picked up the win in the first game of the tournament in a 19-0 win over Greenville and went 6-for-9 in tournament play with seven runs scored and three RBIs. He threw a one-hitter in four innings.
“It feels good to be going to state and we played real good in all games this week,” Avant said. “I am ready for state.”
Blackmon threw a two-hitter in the second game of the tournament and said it feels great to be going to the state tournament again. Blackmon and many on the Junior Boys team made the Ozone state tournament last year.
“I am happy to be going to state and it just feels natural for us to be going,” Blackmon said. “It is so much fun to be around these guys and we have a blast all the time.”
Blackmon was 6-for-12 at the plate in the tournament with six RBIs.
Smartt added a run to the board for the Trojans when he scored in the second and Avant, Smartt, Loving and Johnson each scored in the fourth to help end the game in five innings.
Blake Craft picked up the win on the mound for Troy and allowed four hits in the game while striking out two and walking one in four innings of work.
Johnson threw the final inning to close out Greenville and seal the trip to Dothan. Troy opens the state tournament next Friday with a game against the District 7 winner.
Click here for a photo gallery of Friday’s action