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Minor American Rookies reflect on tourney

Sometimes, winning isn’t everything.

Two weeks ago, the Dixie-Minor American Rookie team took to the baseball fields in Luverne looking to win a District championship.

While the team was unable to complete that goal, it was able to leave an impression on its head coach, Steve Barron, which will be long lasting.

Troy was sent home after two games in Luverne, dropping its first game to eventual tournament winner Enterprise, 14-9 before losing to Greenville, 30-29, the following day in a four-hour marathon game.

“The way those kids played in (the Greenville game) was really a testament to what kind of kids we had on the team,” Barron said.

“We may have come up short in the tournament, but those 12 kids played the game the way it should be played, never gave up and made huge strides along the way – and I am extremely proud of them all.”

To put the length of the Greenville game into perspective, during the regular season, games go on for only 90 minutes, so when a tournament game lasts over two game’s time spans, its easy to understand if a group of nine-year-olds lose interest.

However, that was something this Troy team never did, according to the coach.

“I think that tells who how good these kids are and how strong baseball in Troy really is,” Barron said.

“This was a game that went back and fourth every inning, and the kids gave it their all to try and win it. That is something everyone can learn from.”

Even with the two losses, the Troy team did not go down without a fight, collecting 36 hits and scoring 28 runs in two games.

To go along with those stats, there were six players who hit .500 or better at the plate during the tournament.

Both Max Copeland and Todd Mehaffey hit .571, while Trevor and Clay Barron hit .750 and .714, respectively.

Jacob Moats had a .600 average and Cage Freeman hit .500, as well.

“I thought the kids played very well,” the coach said.

“If you take away the crazy errors that escalated some innings and the walks and pass balls, both games are very winnable for us. Plus, both Enterprise and Greenville were two really good teams that made good plays.

“It wasn’t meant to be for us, but it doesn’t take away how proud I am of this team,” Barron added.