17U Black start 1-1 in Classic

Published 3:00 am Friday, July 3, 2015

The Troy American Legion Post 70 17U baseball team has a tall task in front of them in the Troy Freedom Classic this week. In a tournament featuring mainly 19-and-under teams, they are the only 17-and-under team entered in the tournament.

After losing game one on Thursday afternoon to Tuscaloosa Post 34 5-3, the 17U team had a quick turn around battling back to beat Wiregrass Sports Academy 10-7.

“From the first game to the second game, I was really impressed from what I saw,” said head coach Nick Collins. “We had a seven run lead going into the seventh inning of game one, and we lost. We came out in game two and got the lead early, I was glad to see them bounce back. This is a great group of kids.”

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Troy got the scoring started early on Thursday evening scoring in the first inning, setting the tone for the offensively driven ballgame.

John Kelsoe earned a base hit for the 17U team in the first inning and with a base hit from Hunter Windham scored the team’s first run of the evening.

After Wiregrass Sports Academy countered back, scoring one run in the second inning to tie the game at 1, the Wiregrass team added an astonishing five runs to the board in the third inning taking the lead.

Collins said hard work and determination was on display for the 17U team in the fourth inning as the team put up another four runs to inch their deficit to Wiregrass Sports Academy. Troy had a total of five hits in the inning and had big base scoring hits by Kelsoe, Jack Knight and Lane Mitchell to cut Wiregrass’s lead to 6-5.

Down by just one in the fifth, Troy got the inning started with a base hit from Connor Davis. With two players on the bases, Logan Thomson dropped a sac-bunt advancing both runners up a base. With two outs in the inning Mackenzie Hicks stepped up a drilled a pitch to left field scoring both runners giving Troy the much-needed 7-6 lead.

With a one-run lead, Troy entered the sixth inning with an eye on getting a few insurance runs for the defense.

After a strikeout began the inning, Mitchell came up and got a base hit. Two hitters later Davis reached first base on error. With the bases loaded after Andrew Griggs reached on a base hit, Thompson came up and hit a bases-clearing double to give Troy the 10-6 lead over Wiregrass.

Wiregrass was able to score just one run in the sixth surrendering the win to Troy.

Barron said the team had taken the field in game one against Tuscaloosa Post 34 with promise taking an early three-run lead over Tuscaloosa, but the bats went cold and fell short to the team 5-3.

Barron said the pitching staff, led by Kelsoe, had been able to hold Tuscaloosa’s offense for most of the game until the final inning where Tuscaloosa hit two homeruns giving them the win.

Despite the first loss of the day, Collins said he was happy with the team’s showing in day one of the tournament considering many of his players were just 16 years old.

Troy will be back in action Friday at noon and 5:00 p.m. at Charles Henderson High School to take on Tallahassee Post 13 and Jacksonville Post 283.