Troy Junior Dixie Boys fall to Texas Monday

Published 10:38 pm Monday, August 3, 2009

The Troy Junior Dixie Boys were unable to continue their undefeated run through the Junior Boys World Series Monday night, falling to Texas 7-4.

Troy jumped ahead 3-0 after the first inning, but was forced to watch Texas make a comeback of the variety that Troy had used to win its first three games of the tournament.

The game was the second of the day for Troy, but the only game for Texas Monday.

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However, head coach Sam Kitchens said he placed the blame on a lack of execution, rather than fatigue.

“We’re not going to make excuses,” Kitchens said.

“We just quit executing after the first inning. We didn’t hit the ball like we should and we didn’t place our pitches at the plate. We just didn’t do what we’ve been doing.”

Texas railed for four runs in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead, but Troy tied the game in the fifth when Chandler Avant scored on a wild pitch

Texas would put the game away, however, in the sixth when it scored three runs on three hits.

Texas pitcher Ryan Fant retired the final six Troy hitters to preserve the win for Texas.

Kitchens said Troy would be ready to play again Tuesday despite the tough loss.

“I have confidence that we’ll bounce back tomorrow,” Kitchens said.

“They’re going to fight and do the best they can. We lost a game in the state tournament and were able to fight through it. We’ll just have to try it again here.”

However, there are things Troy will have to improve on in order to have success.

“We’ve got to play consistent defense,” Kitchens said. “If we hit the ball hard, we’ve got a chance. We’re certainly going to give it our best shot.”

While Troy has made an impressive showing by being one of only four teams still playing at the World Series, both the team and its coaching staff believes there is more glory ahead for Troy.

“We have more to accomplish,” Kitchens said. “I think we can accomplish it if we just make up our minds to do it.”

Troy will now turn its attention to a rematch with Louisiana, a team Troy defeated 11-9 in a thrilling come-from-behind win Sunday night.

Fortunately for Troy, Avant will be eligible to pitch against a Louisiana club he dominated in a relief appearance. Unfortunately, Blake Craft, the starter of the game against Texas will not be eligible.

“We’ll have Avant and Blackmon tomorrow,” Kitchens said. “Basically, we’ll have anybody except Craft.”

Troy’s tournament life will be on the line when it faces Louisiana Tuesday at 5 p.m. for the right to advance to the final day of play.