Dixie Minor rooks eyeing repeat of 2013 championship

Published 9:17 pm Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Troy Dixie Minor Rookies game plan going into the state tournament is to put pressure on the defense and play small ball. They want to force their opponent into making errors. Head coach Chris Huner said he coached in the tournament last year and bunting was effective.

“We want to stay competitive in each game and come back with a state championship,” he said. In order to accomplish that goal his team has to win six games in five days. He said his team is ready and they played well in the district tournament.

The Rookies are coming off an 8-5 win last week against Enterprise, where they had to rally back down two runs in the fifth inning to seal the victory.

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The 2013 Rookies won the state tournament last year and Huner wants to win it again.

“We are working on some fundamentals in practice one in particular is PFP,” he said. “That is pitchers fielding practice and we are working on bunt defense and what to do in base stealing situations.”

One improvement Huner wants to see from his players is in plate appearances when they are behind in the count. He said in the district tournament his team received numerous walks and does not want them to rely on that.

He has told his all-stars the competition will get better, so will the pitching and there will be many opportunities to put the ball in play.

“I tell them when it is a hittable pitch with two strikes put it in play and not be looking for a walk,” he said. He also does not want them to get behind in the count and be aggressive when they are.

The Rookies will begin their state tournament run Saturday in Muscle Shoals. They will take on Moulton at Gattman Park. Game time is set for 3:00 p.m.

“I want them to remember the game is six innings and to battle all six innings and keep competing,” he said.