The last team standing!

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A year ago, the Troy starting a Pre-Minor baseball team with the hopes of competing for a chance to win championships.

A year later, those hopes and dreams became a reality.

After fighting off elimination for the second straight tournament, Troy came into the final day of the State Tournament in Enterprise, looking to make history.

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And in the end, that’s exactly what it accomplished thanks to its 10-5 win over Enterprise, claiming the state title in the process.

“It feels great,” head coach Andy Blair said with a smile on his face after the game.

“To start the season with the hopes of being at this position and then to fight on the brink in both the tournaments – nothing gets better than this.”

With the win, Troy now will head to the Atlantic Coast where it will take place in the Dixie Youth Regionals, in Charleston, South Carolina.

While Troy’s bat may have been more quiet than usual Monday night, that was not the case Tuesday afternoon.

In the bottom of the first inning, Troy exploded for seven runs, sending 11 batters to the plate, with nine reaching base.

Cole McWhorter, Jackson Blair and Ty Singleton all reached base with singles and Karson Mays and Gage Knighten took care of the rest, both collecting two-RBIs in their plate appearances.

Trott Sikes, Will Stephens and Brax Barron all continued the hit parade, as well as RBIs to give Troy a commanding lead after the first inning.

“The first inning was big for us,” Blair said.

“But what I was most proud of was after that big inning, we didn’t stop. We kept hitting and scoring runs when we could and it helped us a lot.”

Enterprise would respond however.

In the top of the third inning, the host team struck back to the tune of five runs in the inning, and cutting Troy’s lead to just two runs at 7-5.

In the bottom of the fourth inning, Troy would get some of those runs back.

Stephens got his second RBI of the game after he drove home Sikes, who reached base with a single and three batters later, Payne Griffin brought home Logan Johnson with this first hit of the game to extend Troy’s lead to 9-5 going into the fifth inning.

An inning later, Caden Bryan would add one more run for Troy, thanks to his RBI-single that brought home Mays.

The five-run lead would be more than enough for Troy, as it shut down Enterprise in the top half of the sixth, to close the game out.

Before the game, Blair talked about how both the defense and the offense would have to play in unison for a chance to win.

And while the defense had a few slip ups here and there, it was still solid in the coach’s eyes.

“They played as well as eight-year-olds can,” Blair said.

“I didn’t expect them to play as well as they did Monday night, but they still got the job done.”

One player in particular helped Troy in the field during the crucial third inning.

“I thought Payne was a big part of getting us out of the inning,” the coach said.

“I thought (Enterprise) was going to get seven runs, but Payne made some great throws and plays that stopped that – everyone stepped up for us (on Tuesday),” he added.

Every Troy player reached base at least once.

Jackson Blair, Gage Knighten and Holden Hollingshead all went 3-3 at the plate and all scored a run.

Knighten also added two RBIs.

Karson Mays and Will Stevens also drove in two batters as well, and finished 1-3 and 2-2, at the plate.

Sikes, Barron, and Bryan all had one RBI apiece.

Both of the teams that competed in Tuesday’s title game will advance to compete in Charleston, with games beginning on July 23.