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Troy team places second in Future Stars

The first ever Troy Future Stars team fell just one win short of winning the 2010 Dixie Boys Future Stars event this weekend, falling 11-7 to Southern Sunday in the championship game.

Head coach Sam Kitchens said after the game that a late collapse wound up costing the Troy team.

“We kind of let it get away from us in the last two innings,” Kitchens said. “We hit the ball just like we did all weekend, but we missed a few plays defensively.”

Despite the loss, Kitchens said he was proud of his team’s performance, especially given the young age of the team compared to other teams.

“Overall, I thought we played well,” Kitchens said. “We played hard, but it just got away from us in that one inning. We had one of the younger teams down here, and it was a good experience for all of us. They had a good weekend overall.”

Troy came into Sunday needing a win over Wiregrass, a team made up primarily of Dothan players, in order to advance to the championship game.

Troy got that win by a score of 8-3, thanks in large part to Austin Ingram’s pitching performance.

“We had some great pitching from Austin Ingram, and we were able to hit the ball and play real well,” Kitchens said. “We ran the bases, and we made things happen.”

The Troy team put itself in a must-win position Sunday against Dothan after splitting its first two games Saturday.

The Troy team had its backs against the wall in the tournament after losing its first game, needing a win to stay alive in Saturday’s second 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.”

John Michael Stephens, also of Troy, played on the Southern Stars team.

With the tournament now behind them, the Troy players will now turn their attention to the upcoming tournament play season.

Kitchens said playing in Future Stars should be beneficial for the Troy players as they progress throughout the summer.

“I think it will help them going forward,” Kitchens said. “They have some experience together, and now when they get together for tournament team and start practice, they’ll have a chance to really get it going.”