Junior Boys defeat Opelieka

Published 12:04 am Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Troy Junior Dixie Boys continued down their road to a state title Saturday, defeating Opelika 7-4.

Troy allowed Opelika to push a few runs across early, but quickly settled into a groove on the mound.

“They got a couple of runs in early on, but our pitching really settled down,” said head coach Sam Kitchens. “Blake Craft started the game for us and did a good job on the mound.”

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When Craft ran into trouble in the fourth inning, Kitchens turned to John Johnson, who got Troy out of the inning.

Tripp Blackmon entered the game in the fifth and was able to pitch the final three innings without allowing a run.

“Tripp did a good job shutting them down the last three innings for us,” Kitchens said.

The 7-4 win was the first game Troy has played that was not decided by mercy rule.

“You know, you have to expect closer games in the state tournament,” Kitchens said. “Our guys responded well even though they haven’t seen in a close game yet and hopefully we’ll be able to learn from this going forward.”

Kitchens was also proud of the way Troy hit the ball.

“We had a good game hitting the ball,” Kitchens said.

Troy will play Hueytown at 8 p.m. Sunday. Kitchens said Troy’s arms should be rested and ready to go.

“Our pitching is in good shape going forward,” Kitchens said. “We will have everybody eligible for Sunday, so that will help us out.”