Dixie Boys slam into second round

Published 12:52 am Saturday, June 26, 2010

As the day turned into night on Friday, the Troy Dixie Boys team took the field for the first time since winning the World Series last summer.

While many of the faces are the same, there are some new ones as well, but regardless, at least for Friday night, the result was the same – a win.

Troy battled Enterprise in the first round of the Sub-District tournament at Franklin Field, and before the game could be a whole inning in, Troy had a 9-0 lead that would transform into a 20-6 victory.

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“I’m proud of these guys,” head coach Sam Kitchens said after the game.

“The guys kept swinging the bats and gave fourth a great effort all throughout the game even though our pitching was a bit shaky.”

Blake Craft took the mound for Troy to start the game, however, only lasted a third of an inning, giving up four runs off of two walks and a single.

Hastings took the mound in relief, but suffered the same fate as Craft, as Hasting only pitched an inning and a third, giving up two runs on three walks and one hit, while striking out two.

“I wish we would have thrown a few strikes early on,” Kitchens said with a smile.

“We had to make some changes earlier on in the game then we would have liked, but I think the team did a good job of responding.”

In the first inning, 13 Troy batters went to the plate, with all but one reaching base.

John Johnson, Hastings, Myles Loving, Brian Adams, Rhett Tucker Morgan Shaver and Nathan Fox all scored runs in the inning.

The big at-bat came when Fox stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and sent the ball over the center field wall to give Troy an 8-0 lead.

Enterprise would respond with five runs of their own, to cut the lead to four.

After Troy scored two more runs in the second, Enterprise again answered with a run of their own, to cut the lead to 11-6, however, that would be as close as it would get.

Troy would score nine more runs the rest of the game, highlighted by a Craft two-run homer in the sixth inning.

John Michael Stephens came in in relief for Hastings and finished the rest of the game up, giving up only two hits while striking out two.

“John Michael came in and really shut them down,” Kitchens said.

“He came in and did a great job for us.”

The coach said anytime a team is playing its first game, there are going to be some mistakes.

“With the first game, its always going to be tough,” Kitchens said.

“The guys are going to be a little nervous and up tight.

“But we were able to come out here and get a good lead that served as a cushion for us when we ran into some trouble.

“Everyone stepped up for us tonight and had great at-bats – they all played well,” the coach added.

In the end, Troy finished with 16 hits.

Johnson finished 3-4 with three runs scored and to stolen bases, while Hasting finished 3-6 with two RBIs,

Craft finished 3-6 with five RBIs and a home run, Loving finished 4-6 with three RBIs and three runs scored and Adams finished 3-6 with two RBIs.

Fox finished the game 2-4 with a grand slam and five RBIs.

Troy will be back in action again tonight at 8 p.m against Crenshaw County in a winner’s bracket game.