WILL TO WIN: Troy Pitching Machine team off to fast start in Sub-District Tournament in Enterprise
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, June 24, 2015
The Troy Machine Pitch tournament team got off to a good start in the Sub-District Tournament in Enterprise. Troy swept their way through Saturday before getting defeated on Monday night.
The Troy pitching machine team went 2-0 on Saturday after a first round bye. Troy opened up their tournament with a 16-0 shutout against Luverne and followed up their shutout with a memorable 17-15 walk-off win against Enterprise.
In Troy’s first victory on Saturday over Luverne, head coach Adam Brookins said every Troy player walked away with at lease one hit during the game. Jackson Booth, Dawson Bradford, Jordan McBryde and Wes Braisted all had three hits during the match up and had a combined 11 RBIs against Luverne.
The Machine Pitch team made quick work of Luverne, but game two took several in-game comebacks for Troy to advance to the next round.
After falling behind early 7-0 against Enterprise in the first inning, Troy immediately battled back in the second inning with Kade Brookins starting a second-inning rally with a double. Bradford and Kaneil Lewis both had hits in the innings, which helped Troy shave their deficit to 7-4.
After Troy held Enterprise scoreless in the third, the Pitch Machine team tied the game at seven on a two-run double from Pruitt Vaughan.
In the bottom of the fourth, Troy continued to chip away and finally broke through with McBryde, Booth and Braisted all earning doubles in the inning. At the end of the fourth, Troy had commandeered a demanding 14-7 lead.
Enterprise’s hitting assault didn’t let up, and in the sixth inning the team scored seven runs taking back a 15-14 lead.
In the sixth, Troy garnered back-to-back hits to start the inning. With two men on base, Braisted hit his fist ever homerun effectively walking off Enterprise and securing the 17-15 win for Troy.
“I don’t think you will ever see another game like that,” Brookins said. “It was a fun game to be a part of, especially with him getting his first ever homerun. Wes played really well all day, and he came up and hit the walk-off homerun.”
Other than getting the two victories, the best thing coach Brookins saw Saturday was the effort and the heart his team gave on the field.
“We told them it’s like chopping a tree down,” Brookins said. “You’re not going to knock a tree down with just one chop. You could sense that we had the momentum, and every kid was pumped up. It was a big change in momentum from the first inning to the second inning. At any age, you need to have leaders, and I know we had a few of those Saturday night.”
Despite a two-win streak, Monday brought the Machine Pitch team back down to Earth losing to Enterprise 13-7.
Although the team started a slow, Brookins said they built up a 4-2 lead on Enterprise early Monday night only to fall short to a strong Enterprise offense and defense.
“We came out a little flat, and Enterprise played really well,” Brookins said. “We had the lead and they started hitting the ball, and fielding a little better. We just could never really wake up on offense or defense.”
Brookins said the key Monday night was the inability to capitalize with runners in scoring position.
In the third inning when Troy scored four runs to take the lead, they left the bases loaded and failed to tack on to their lead, an error Brookins said cost the Machine Pitch team. Troy again left them loaded in the fifth inning.
Bradford stayed hot on Monday night finishing the game going 3-3. Kade Brookins also finished the game going 3-3 at the plate.
“To leave the bases loaded twice, you leave a lot of runners on base,” Brookins said. “That kind of hurt us tonight. When you look back and you see you lost by six runs, leaving the bases loaded changed the outcome a little bit.”