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Junior Dixie Boys down Ozark

Troy Junior Dixie Boys pitcher DeAndre Pitts releases a pitch during a district baseball game in Dothan, Ala., Saturday, July 2, 2011. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

DOTHAN — The Troy Junior Dixie Boys used up 2 hours and 42 minutes before finally conquering Ozark, 13-3, in the Dixie Boys 13-year old District 6 Tournament at the Miracle Field Complex Monday night.

With the win, Troy advances to face Dothan in the championship game Tuesday night at 6 p.m. Should Dothan win, an if-necessary game will be needed immediately following the first contest.

Troy put some early runs on the board and survived numerous scoring threats by Ozark to come away with the win.

Troy head coach Sam Kitchens said he was extremely pleased with Monday night’s performance.

“I saw a little improvement in some areas,” Kitchens said. “But we’ve got to play better.”

“I thought we saw some communication on defense. I don’t think we made an error tonight. We had a good game from everyone defensively. Offensively, we did an excellent job of running the bases and got some timely hits. Our guys were patient at the plate. We got some good pitching performances when we had to have them.”

Troy took control of the game in the top of the second by scoring eight runs. After Cole Sanders led off getting hit by a pitch, Hunter Blackmon reached on an error and Ty Witherington walked to load the bases with nobody out. One batter later, Eric Lee beat out an infield hit as Sanders scored on a close play at the plate to give Troy a 1-0 lead.

Marquese Christian followed with a two-run single up the middle scoring Blackmon and Witherington to increase the lead to 3-0. DeAndre Pitts followed with an RBI single, Drew Starling added a RBI sacrifice fly and Morgan Sullivant got an RBI ground out to increase the lead to 6-0. Witherington and Lee each added walks to cap the inning.

Ozark trimmed the lead to 9-3 after three innings before Troy finally put the game away in the top of the sixth. The key blow in the inning was an RBI triple by Jerrell Lawson.

Starling was the winning pitcher for Troy.