Troy takes out Dothan in first round of World Series

Published 11:48 pm Saturday, July 31, 2010

When it was first announced that Troy would be taking on Dothan in the first round of the Junior Dixie Boys World Series, many thought it would be a tight ball game all the way through.

The two teams didn’t disappoint.

In a game that had five different lead changes, it was the Alabama state champion that came out on top over the host team thanks to a Xavius Burden single in the top of the seventh as Troy won, 7-6.

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“We hadn’t had a game like that yet,” head coach Gary Fox said right after the close victory.

“I told the team how proud I was of them. They were tested all night and they answered right back – they showed they are mentally tough.”

It was Dothan who struck first, against Troy starter Chase Hartley.

In the bottom of the second inning Wyatt Browning’s ground out brought home the first run of the game, as Dothan took a 1-0.

Dothan would add two more runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning, after Troy tied things up, thanks to hits from Turner Vincent and Browning, to go up 3-1.

Through the first three innings, Troy’s offense struggled to get hits, as the team only had two.

However, that all changed in the fourth inning.

Austin Ingram, Hunter Baggett, Burden and Hartley all reached base consecutively, and all would score as well in the fourth inning, as Troy was able to go up 5-3.

Again, as it did earlier, Dothan would respond.

This time it was Corey Gill who stepped up for Dothan, with a bases loaded, standup triple that gave his time a 6-5 lead.

Troy would answer back though in the top of the sixth inning, when Rush Hixon brought in the tying run to the plate.

Troy took advantage of a golden opportunity in the top half of the seventh inning, with the bases loaded.

Burden stepped to the plate and delivered, bringing home with what would be the game-winning run.

“I put the guy who has the best average in (the No. 3 spot),” Fox said about his No. 3 hitter Burden. “The guy that gives us the best chance to get a hit.”

While the coach said all week that he believed his team would not be nervous coming into Saturday’s game, things may have changed when the team took the field.

“I think the guys were a little nervous coming into the game,” Fox said. “And it showed a little bit.

“There was really no indication of (the team’s nerves) at practice this week though – but they found a way to fight through it.”

Five different Troy pitchers took the mound Saturday night, looking to stop Dothan.

Hartley started, giving up three runs off of five hits and striking out three while Jason Fleming gave up three runs off of two hits.

Burden, who was the winning pitcher, struck out two batters of work and Austin Ingram finished off the victory by striking out the side in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“I thought all of our pitchers did a great job (Saturday night),” Fox said.

“The guys came in and did what they had to do to win – I’m proud of all of them.”

At the plate, Troy finished with nine hits.

Ingram finished 2-4 with two runs scored, Baggett finished 1-4 with a run scored.

Burden led the way for Troy, finishing 2-3 with three RBIs a double and a single.

Hartley finished 2-5 with two singles while both Reilly Fox and Rush Hixon each contributed an RBI in the win.

Troy also stole seven bases.

On Sunday, Troy will take on South Carolina at 7 p.m.

“I have taken a few notes on (South Carolina) – they got some good pitching,” Fox said.

“It’s going to be another test for us.”