Troy defeats AUM Gold, will face South Bibb

Published 3:53 pm Saturday, July 10, 2010

ENTERPRISE – Troy will live to play another day at the Dixie Youth State Machine Pitch tournament in Enterprise, this after it assured itself of a Sunday game after a 5-3 win over AUM Gold.

The Trojans are set to play two games Saturday, with the AUM game being the first of those two.

Troy once again used a great defense to pick up the victory, allowing just three runs to cross the plate.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

However, unlike Friday’s 11-0 win over Piedmont, Troy’s offense was held in check by a stingy AUM defensive effort.

“We played a team that really had a great defense,” said Troy head coach Andy Blair. “They had a great shortstop that made every play hit toward him.”

While Troy’s bats may not have been as effective Saturday afternoon, Blair said he preferred the kind of win this team got against AUM Gold.

“I would rather play a low-scoring, fast-paced competitive game and be able to win than I would win a blowout,” Blair said. “When the kids put a lot into a tight game, they get more out of it when they win. It’s better for them, and it will help them as they go further in the tournament and see more and more teams who are just as good if not better than you are.”

Troy trailed 2-1 after the first inning, but pushed across three runs in the second to take the lead for good.

The big blow of the inning was a two-RBI double from Trott Sikes that drove home Gage Knighten and Holden Hollingshead. Brax Barron later drove in Sikes on an RBI groundout to make it 4-2, Troy.

AUM answered back with a run in the bottom of the second, but would not score again.

Troy added an insurance run in the fifth, when the last two hitters in the Troy lineup reached base to leadoff the inning, setting the stage for Cole McWhorter to drive in Will Stephens on an RBI single

“We’ve got 12 hitters now than can hit the ball no matter where they hit in the lineup,” Blair said. “The first half of our lineup is just as good as the second half now.”

AUM threatened in the bottom of the sixth by putting two on with one out, but Cameron Tice grounded into a fielder’s choice, followed by a game-ending strikeout from Kory Nixon.

The game started with the first four Troy hitters reaching base on singles, yet Troy could only score one run, as Payne Griffin was thrown out at home trying to score.

AUM took the 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first when Will Aaron scored as a result of two Troy errors on one play and Tice picked up an RBI single.

Sikes led Troy, going 2-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run scored. McWhorter went 2-3 with an RBI and a run scored, Ty Singleton went 2-3 with an RBI and Hollingshead was 3-3 with a run scored.

Logan Johnson went 2-2, Stephens was 1-2 with a run scored and Knighten was 1-3 with a run scored.

Brax Barron was 0-3, but had an RBI.

Griffin, Jackson Blair, Caden Bryan and Karson Mays were all 1-3.

Every Troy player either had a hit or drove in a run.

Now, Troy will play South Bibb at 7 p.m. tonight. The game will be a battle between two of only three unbeaten teams left.

“We’re not going to change now,” Blair said. “We’ll just keep playing good defense and we’ll try to string just a few more hits together. If we can do that, we’ll be all right.”

The winner of the Troy-South Bibb game will advance to play Enterprise Sunday at 4 p.m., while the loser will face the winner of a game between Oxford Black and Hartselle National at 2 p.m. Sunday in an elimination game.