CHAMPIONS: Dixie Youth Ozone team named District Tournament champs in perfect 5-0 run

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Dixie Youth Ozone Team ran the table in the District Tournament, finishing a perfect 5-0 record.

After defeating Zion Chapel in round one 25-1 the Ozone carried their momentum through the rest of the tournament picking up two wins against both Enterprise and Geneva, clinching the championship.

Although the tournament featured nine teams as whole, head coach David Nelson always believed it would come down to either his team or Enterprise.

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“The only team that was really competitive with us all tournament long was Enterprise,” Nelson said. “Between us and Enterprise both teams had a very competitive team from top to bottom. We both had good pitching day in and day out.”

Troy defeated Enterprise on Tuesday evening, defeating them 3-2.

After a bye on Wednesday, the Ozone team was back in action on Thursday evening against Geneva.

In a game that went just three innings, Troy shut out Geneva 15-0.

Davis Allen, Anthony Gurba, Javon Christian, Avery Ernsberger and Bailey Sparrow all picked up hits in the game. Sparrow and Ernsberger both finished with two hits in the ball game.

The offense for Troy was in high gear all tournament long.

“We have a lot of players in the lineup that can hit the ball. Just because the top of the lineup may not get it done, doesn’t mean the middle or bottom of the lineup can’t get it done,” Nelson said. “We have a few exceptionally talented kids in our lineup, but even the kids at the bottom of the lineup are very good, quality hitters. You never know who will come through for you at any given night, somebody in the lineup 1-12 will come through.”

The pitching staff also performed well Thursday evening shutting out Geneva and holding them to just one hit.

Troy once again faced off with Enterprise on Friday evening. In another close contest between the two teams, Troy walked away with a victory, defeating Enterprise 4-1.

Christian stifled Enterprise hitters all game long striking out 13 batters in a complete game victory for Troy.

John Baxley Sanders led the way offensively for Troy finishing the game going 2-2 at the plate with a first inning double, and a home run in the sixth. With his two hits, Sanders was the only player for Troy to finish the game with a hit.

Jackson Senn reached base twice with a pair of walks.

The win for Troy set up the second meeting of the tournament with Geneva, this time for the district championship. Troy used the second and third innings to do the majority of the damage, defeating Geneva 12-2.

After Geneva went up 2-0 in the top of the second, Troy answered in their half of the inning when Ernsberger knocked a two-run triple to give Ozone the lead. Scott Taylor Renfroe followed suit and knocked in a run. In all Troy knocked in four runs in the second inning.

Christian once again got things going for Ozone in the third inning, he doubled in Davis and Gurba to begin their run in the third. Levi then came up and drove in Christian on a base hit. After the five runs in the third, Troy tacked on the final three runs in the fourth inning ending the game.

Nine of the twelve Ozone players ended the game with at least one hit in the game. Allen led the way with two hits for Troy.

Allen also picked up the win as the games starting pitcher, going three innings and allowing only one earned run.

The team advances to the state tournament, which will be held in Centreville starting July 17.

“We need to work on having quality at-bats,” Nelson said. “Baseball can be a game of failure. We are going to have success at times but we will also fail. We have to keep it in perspective and go up there every time with a mentality of having a quality at bat.”