Dixie-Minor Nationals ready to play

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 8, 2010

It was has been a month since the Troy Dixie-Minor National Tournament team began practicing and now, it is time to finally play ball.

While most of the other Troy teams competed in their respective Sub-District tournaments, this National team did not, which allowed for more practice time and a readiness to play, according to head coach Derek Wilkes.

“The kids are itching to get out on the field. They have been working hard – and they are ready.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“(Not playing in the Sub-District tournament) gave us more time to practice and get ready. Now, the guys are ready to put on their jerseys and play ball,” the coach added.

Along with Troy, Elba, Geneva, the Enterprise Nationals and Americans, Eufaula and Kinston will be looking to win the five-day tournament, which begins today at the Troy Sportsplex.

Even though the team may be younger than most, with six nine-year-olds and six-10-year-olds, Wilkes said he likes the players he has on the team.

“We are looking forward to the first game,” Wilkes said. “And I feel pretty confident about our team.”

The team will take the field for its first game on Saturday, however, while this will be the first tournament of the summer for Troy, it won’t be its first games.

The team participated in six practice games, two of which it won.

Wilkes said that in those games, he had seen the team makes multiple steps in the right direction.

“In the last game we played, we didn’t make any errors and he hit well.

“The guys are getting better at the basics of the game and are playing well together,” he said.

But even with good defense in the field and productivity at the plate, there is an aspect of the game that is extremely important if Troy wants to be successful in the coach’s mind.

“Pitching is everything, no matter what the level of baseball.

“Most everyone on the team is capable of pitching and they are all doing well,” Wilkes said.

The six non-Troy teams will be in action today on Field 7 and Field 8 tonight with Elba and Geneva starting things off at 6 p.m. on Field 7 and Enterprise Nationals and Eufaula playing on Field 8 at 6 p.m. and Enterprise Americans and Kinston following at Field 8.

Troy will face the winner of the Enterprise Americans/ Kinston game at 6 p.m. on Saturday, on Field 7.