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Troy team still alive in Future Stars play

After day one at the Dixie Boys Future Stars tournament, the first ever Troy Future Stars team is still in contention to bring home a title.

Troy split its two games today, falling to the Southern Stars in its first game and blowing out the Dixie Stars in its second game.

The split means that Troy can advance to the championship game with a win over the Wiregrass Stars, a team made up primarily of players from Dothan, at 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

“If we win, my understanding is that we’re in the championship game,” said head coach Sam Kitchens.

The Troy team had its backs against the wall in the tournament after losing its first game, needing a win to stay alive in today’s afternoon game against the Dixie Stars.

The team responded however, dominating Dixie by a score of 19-1 thanks in large part to Chase Hartley’s performance on the mound.

“We had a great pitching performance from Chase Hartley,” Kitchens said. “We also had some great defense, and we hit the ball real well.”

Getting a win over Dixie was crucial after the team lost a 9-8 heartbreaker to Southern in the first game of the tournament.

“We outhit them 11-5, but we just made some errors and walked some batters that wound up costing us,” Kitchens said. “Our pitching wasn’t that bad, but we just made some mistakes at key points in the game.”

While the defense may have been down one game and up the next, the offense was consistent all day long.

“Both of the games we played, we hit the ball real well,” Kitchens said. “I think just about everybody on the team has at least one hit.”

However, Kitchens said the team must shore up its defense if it hopes to bring a title back home to Troy.

“We’ve got to play good defense because the game we lost today is the one where we just didn’t play solid defense,” Kitchens said.

The Troy team takes on Wiregrass today at 10 a.m. for the right to advance to the championship game. If Troy wins, it will play in the title game at 1 p.m.