Troy whips Eufaula 17-5, earns berth in state tournament

Published 9:53 pm Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Troy players celebrate after winning the championship game of the district tournament in Luverne, Ala., Wednesday, June 20, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

LUVERNE – Troy Parks and Recreation Pitching Machine tournament team won the District 9 Tournament on Wednesday with a 17-5 victory over Eufaula.

“The kids have worked hard,” head coach David Nelson said. “We expect a lot out of them and demand a lot out of them every day in practice. We do the same things over and over again in practice and drill it in and focus on the little things. We try not to overlook anything.”

The results of the hard work showed up early when Ben Reeves snagged a sharp ground ball at third base and quickly flipped it to second base. Noah Prestwood touched the base and threw low to first baseman Press Jefcoat, who picked the ball out of the dirt for a rare double play at the 8-year-old age group.

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Troy, after trailing 1-0 in the first inning, scored early and often with a run in the bottom of the first when Nathan Braisted singled and scored to knot the game at 1-1.

Eufaula regained the lead, 3-1, with a pair of runs in the second but Reeves, DeAndrey Henderson, Bailey Sparrow, and Adrian Cardwell all reached base and scored to give Troy a 5-3 advantage.

From there Troy would go on to pour on 12 more runs to defeat Eufaula and earn the district championship.

Jefcoat turned in another spectacular play in the fifth when a Eufaula batter hit a pop fly just foul between home and first with a runner on first. Jefcoat made a sliding catch for the second out of the inning then made an instinctive play by jumping to his feet to tag the runner attempting to make it safely back to first base.

“That was a great play to get us out of the inning,” Nelson said. “We’ll need more of those plays in the state tournament. I look forward to seeing these guys play at state. We’ll get back to work and get ready.”

Troy invoked the mercy rule in all four games they played in the tournament.

“We didn’t have one guy struggle at the plate in the tournament,” Nelson said. “When somebody had a down game somebody else picked them up.”

For Troy, Drew Nelson was 1-for-4, Nathan Braisted was 2-for-3, Darryl Lee was 0-for-3, Press Jefcoat was 2-for-3, Skylar Kidd was 2-for-3, Laquavian Rodgers was 0-for-3, Ben Reeves was 3-for-3, DeAndrey Henderson was 0-for-3, Bailey Sparrow was 1-for-3, Brady Huner was 0-for-3, Adrian Cardwell was 3-for-3, and Noah Prestwood was 3-for-3.

Troy advances to play the District 5 runner-up in the State Tournament in Enterprise on July 6. Troy’s first game is scheduled for 7 p.m.

Eufaula, with the second place finish, also advances to state.