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Troy Jr. Dixie Boys down Hartselle, 14-0

SCOTTSBORO – One pitch.

That’s all it took after a two-hour rain delay for Troy’s Junior Dixie Boys to work their way out of a one-out, bases loaded jam in the seventh inning to win the first game of the state tournament on Sunday 14-0 against Hartselle.

“We went to Subway during the rain delay, and I told them I felt like Hartselle was going to put some runs on the board,” said coach Gary Fox. “The boys told me ‘no.’ They were going to throw one pitch and get a double play.”

Even Xavius Burden, who had been on the mound when the rain delay was called, had that confidence. Burden and the rest of the team had struggled in the bottom of the seventh, as a downpour led to slips and slides in the field and the bases loaded jam.

“I was planning to come back with a different pitcher but (Coach) Brett Stallworth told me Xavius wanted it; he wanted to pitch,” Fox said. “I told him fine, that Xavius had nine pitches. Brett came back and said ‘Xavius says he’ll only need one.’”

And that’s just what happened.

An infield dribble by the Hartselle batter went right back to Burden, who threw out the runner at home. Catcher Austin Ingram then connected to first baseman Jason Fleming for the second out of the double play.

One pitch. Two outs. The first win of the state tournament.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Fox said. “But you know me, I’m kind of speechless.”

The opening game of the tournament had been set for Saturday night, but rain on Friday forced rescheduling. Troy, who drew a first-round bye, didn’t get to play their first game until early Sunday morning. And Fox said the team was ready to play.

The key to the game, Fox said, was the offense. “We were able to score a lot of runs, which gave us the opportunity to do some things with our pitching.”

The 13-year-olds had a big game at the plate. Ingram was 2 for 5 with a double, two runs scored and four RBIs; Hunter Baggett was 2 for 4, hit by a pitch, two runs scored and a stole base; Burden was 1 for 4, hit by a pitch, with a double, and one run scored; Chase Hartley was 3 for 5 with a double, one run scored and 4 RBIs; Reilly Fox was 2 for 4 with one run scored and a walk; Rush Hixon was 3 for 3 with two runs scored and a walk; Jason Fleming was 1 for 3 with two runs scored, hit by a pitch and one RBI; Devin Hooks was 3 for 3 with a double, one run scored, and two RBIs; Patrick Henderson was 0 for 1; Baylor Barnes was 1 for 3 with a run scored; and Wright Graning was 0 for 0 with a walk, one run scored and an RBI.

On the mound, Ingram earned with win, pitching three innings giving up one hit, no runs with one walk and two strikeouts. Burden gets the save, pitching four innings with no runs, two hits, one walk and four strikeouts.