Troy team takes wooden bat tournament title

Published 9:17 pm Monday, June 13, 2011

Troy has become known for its success in recreation baseball over the past couple of years.

Year in and year out, teams of all ages have helped bring all kinds of victories back to Troy, including several World Series victories.

But that was all done with metal bats.

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This past weekend, two Troy teams took the diamonds in the Dixie Boys Future Stars tournament in Dothan looking for the same kind of victories – only this time with wooden bats in hand. The change was nearly unnoticeable, as the 14-year-old team came back with the tournament title while the 13-year-old team fell short in the championship game.

“It was a blast,” said Gary Fox, who was head coach of the 14-year-olds.

“All the guys who were a part of the 13-year-old team that made it to the World Series last year were a part of the team this weekend. It was nice getting the guys back together and I think that was a big advantage for us going into (the tournament).”

As far as the difference in bats, the coach said his kids loved playing with wooden bats.

“I think we averaged 10 runs a game,” Fox said.

“The kids really played well with them, which was great to see. I would love to see the tournament teams switch to wooden bats,” he added with a laugh.

Even though Sam Kitchen’s 13-year-old team did not accomplish the same goal as their fellow Troy team, the head coach said his team was able to accomplish something more important than winning.

“We want to teach the kids to play hard, play with the right attitude and enjoy it and they did,” he said.

“That is always more important than winning. Winning is important, but the biggest thing about this was the kids playing in an All-Star type atmosphere.”