Troy Pre-Minor fights off elimination

Published 9:02 pm Wednesday, June 30, 2010

With elimination starring the Troy Pre-Minor team in the face Tuesday night, the team with the ‘T’ on their hats found a way to survive.

Troy took on Eufaula for the second time in four days in the District Tournament, and unlike the first meeting, came out victorious with a 11-7 win and in the process, advance to the final game of the tournament, the championship game against Greenville.

“It feels great (to move on to the championship game),” head coach Andy Blair said Wednesday evening after the win.

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“We were able to hold on after a bad inning and we battled back and got the win.

“I’m proud of this team,” the coach added.

Troy was able to go up by 10 runs, before Eufaula battled back to score seven runs in the bottom of the fifth, cutting the lead to just three runs. In the first match up between the two teams, Troy went up 7-0 after three innings, however, Eufaula came all the way back to steal the game away from Troy in extra with a final score of 10-9.

This time, Troy made sure it held on to the win.

“I was worried there for a little bit,” Blair said.

“When an inning like that happens, all you can do is forget about it and do your best to get some of those runs back – and that is what we did the next inning.”

Troy got off to a hot start, scoring six runs in the first two innings thanks to clutch hitting from both the top and bottom of the lineup.

“That was one of the things I was most proud about,” the coach said.

“The bottom half of the lineup scored just as many runs are the top half. That is always great to see.”

Every Troy player was able to reach base at least once in the game. Caden Bryan finished with three RBIs and Trott Sikes was able to drive home Gage Knighten in the top of the sixth inning, helping Troy rebound from the fifth inning and also, putting it out of Eufaula’s reach for good.

“I thought we did a good job of getting solid hits and playing good defense (Wednesday night),” Blair said. “And that’s what we are going to have to do (Thursday), if we want to win.”

Troy’s next opponent will be Greenville, and Blair said his team is going to have to be prepared to play.

“(Greenville) is a good team that can hit the ball really well – as good as any team I have seen in this tournament.

“Hopefully, we will be up to the task,” the coach added.

Troy and Greenville will play for the District Pre-Minor Championship today in Brundidge at 6 p.m.