Troy Dixie Boys stay alive at State with back-to-back wins

Published 8:44 pm Sunday, July 18, 2010

After suffering its first loss in tournament play to Daphne on Saturday night, the Troy Dixie Boys found themselves in an unfamiliar position – starring at elimination.

And while it was a quick turnaround between Saturday night’s game and Sunday morning’s game, Troy found a way to stay alive.

But it did not come easy

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Troy took out Scottsboro first with a 12-2 victory and then Hartselle 9-8 in game two thanks to some extra-inning magic to advance to play on Monday.

“We didn’t play especially well in game one,” head coach Sam Kitchens said Sunday night.

“We had some timely hits though and made a few good plays in the field.”

Brian Adams, Nathan Fox and Taylor Lord all took the mound for Troy in game one.

“We weren’t really aggressive in the first game, but all three of our pitchers did a good job for us,” the coach said. “They each did their part – they did what they were supposed to do.”

With those pitchers getting time, that allowed Troy to rest Blake Craft, who has started the majority of Troy’s tournament games this season.

And with Troy winning the first game that is who got the ball to start things off in game two.

Craft allowed two early runs to Hartselle in the first inning however, but his team was able to pick him back up by scoring three of their own in the same inning.

“We were able to match their intensity,” Kitchens said. “Which I was happy to see.”

After Craft, John Michael Stephens came in in relief, with Troy in position to win the game.

Luke Hastings took over for Stephens in the seventh inning, with a 8-6 lead for Troy.

And that’s when Hartselle made its move.

The visiting team scored two runs in its last opportunity to tie the game and force extra innings.

As it did in the first game, Troy would find a way.

After a scoreless eighth-inning for Hartselle, Troy loaded the based in the bottom of the inning and Myles Loving took care of business, with an RBI single to give Troy a 9-8 win.

“We kept fighting,” Kitchens said.

“We hit well, we got some good effort from the guys and in the end, we were fortunate enough to get the win.”

Now, Troy will face the winner of the Phoenix City/ Cherokee County game at 9 a.m. Monday morning.

“I think the guys are probably pretty tired,” the coach said. “And that’s something a coach always worries about – but I think this team will be ready to play.”