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Troy dominates Piedmont in game one of state tourney

ENTERPRISE – Shutouts are rare in machine pitch baseball, but the Troy machine pitch team started its 2010 state tournament in Enterprise with an 11-0 shutout of Piedmont.

Troy’s defense was impenetrable, giving up just four hits over the course of the five-inning game.

According to head coach Andy Blair, the Trojan defense was key in heating up Troy’s bats.

“As soon as an 8-year-old makes a great defensive play, he’ll follow it with a great hit,” Blair said. “When these kids get excited, good things really follow.”

After retiring the side in order in the top of the first, Troy came up with six runs on eight hits in the bottom of the first.

Caden Bryan had an RBI single to start the scoring, driving home Payne Griffin in the process.

Karson Mays followed with a two-RBI double that brought home Cole McWhorter and Ty Singleton.

Holden Hollingshead later came up with a two-RBI triple to score both Bryan and Mays and make it 5-0, Troy.

Troy added its final run of the inning when Hollingshead scored on an RBI single from Brax Barron.

Blair said the big first inning helped to ease the pressure of playing in the state tournament.

“It helped to give us confidence,” Blair said. “Its always good to play ahead with this age group because its so hard to catch up when both teams are expected to hit the ball well.”

The score held at 6-0 until the fourth, when Troy scored one run on an RBI fielder’s choice from Barron that scored Gage Knighten.

Troy then finished the game off via mercy rule by adding four runs in the fifth on RBI singles from Jackson Blair and Singleton, as well as a two-RBI single from Bryan.

Troy finished with 17 hits, compared to just four hits for Piedmont.

Singleton led Troy, going 3-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Hollingshead was 2-2 with a triple, two RBIs and a run scored, while Bryan went 2-3 with three RBIs and a run scored.

Griffin and McWhorter were both 2-3 with two runs scored, Mays was 1-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored and Barron was 1-2 with two RBIs.

Blair went 1-3 with a RBI and a run scored, Knighten and Logan Johnson went 1-2 with a double and a run scored and Trott Sikes was 1-2.

Sean Smith was 2-2 for Piedmont, while Thomas Barnes and Cooper Austin were both 1-1.

Now, Troy will prepare for day two of the tournament Saturday, where it will play two games.

“Things really fell in place for us today, but I know it will get tougher for us Saturday,” Blair said. “We’ve got to play two games, no matter whether we win or lose, so it’ll be a challenge. We’re just going to come in tomorrow and try to do good things like we did today. We’ll try to do the same things, and hopefully we’ll get the same result.”

Troy will play AUM Gold at 1 p.m. If Troy wins, it will play the winner of the game between South Bibb and Oxford Black at 7 p.m. If Troy loses, it will face the winner of Smiths Station and Fairhope at 5 p.m. in an elimination game.