Troy Americans eliminate Dothan Southern, win 7-3

Published 10:52 pm Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Despite only getting three base hits, the Troy Americans were able to advance in the Dixie Youth AAA State Tournament Tuesday night with a 7-3 win over Dothan Southern.

Troy was outhit 8-3, but took advantage of 10 walks issued by Dothan pitching to avoid elimination.

“They struggled with their pitching, and we had worked with the kids a lot on plate discipline,” said Troy head coach Frank Scarbrough. “So, we just battled against their pitching.”

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While Troy may have only gotten three hits, one of those was a triple to clear the bases in the fourth inning.

After Dothan pitcher Luke Whaley issued walks to Spencer Floyd and Noah Lowery, he was replaced by James Jones.

Jones promptly issued another walk, this time to Clayton Hester to lad the bases.

Cole Little then had an RBI infield single to make it 4-1, Troy, and set the stage for Carson Tucker.

Tucker hit a line drive to right field that got under the glove of a diving Dothan player, enabling the ball to roll all the way to the wall.

Floyd, Hester and Little all scored on the play, giving Troy its final runs of the game.

“A bases loaded triple always helps,” Scarbrough said. “We had been patient to that point and had been taking walks where we could get them, but once we got that hit, we just focused on trying not to make mistakes.”

Dothan rallied somewhat in the top of the fifth, scoring two runs on four hits off of Little, who was pitching in relief.

Little eventually got out of the inning, however, and worked a perfect sixth inning to seal the 7-3 win for Troy.

After the game, Scarbrough said the Americans were starting to buy into the more relaxed plate approach the coaching staff had been preaching.

“They were as calm and relaxed tonight as they have been the entire tournament,” Scarbrough said. “They’ve started to understand that not everybody has to hit a home run for us to win. They’re just taking what they can get.”

Dothan jumped out to a lead early on when Jones reached on an error to lead off the game, and later came around to score on an RBI groundout by Manning Owens.

Troy would respond, however, taking the lead for good in the bottom of the first when it scored three runs on three walks and three Dothan errors.

The walks chased Dothan starter Tanner Jackson after just one-third of an inning.

While Dothan may have had control issues, Troy had nothing of the sort.

Starter Wood Jinright pitched the first four innings, allowing one hit and walking one batter while striking out four. Dothan’s only run against Jinright was unearned.

Tucker led Troy, going 1-1 with his three-RBI triple and a walk. Little was 2-2 with an RBI and a run scored.

Garrett Tucker was 0-1 with two walks and a run scored, Lawson Scarbrough was 0-3 with a stolen base and a run scored and Reed Jinright was 0-2 with a walk and a run scored.

Now, Troy will advance to play Taylorville American today at 6 p.m. The loser of today’s game will be eliminated, while the winner will advance to Thursday’s championship round.