Troy 17U Maroon beats Wiregrass, 5-3

Published 3:00 am Saturday, July 11, 2015

One day after losing in the first round of the American Legion Alabama State Tournament Thursday evening, Post 70 17U Maroon hit the field again on Friday in a must-win game against Wiregrass Sports Academy. Troy received a great start from Preston Clark, Troy 17U starting pitcher, and advanced to the next round of state tournament play after beating Wiregrass Sports Academy 5-3.

“We bounced back good from a pretty rough game last night,” said Troy 17U Maroon head coach Bert Givens. “We beat a good team. Wiregrass Sports Academy has a good team. It was a big win.”

With Troy down early, they were able to come back and take the lead in the fourth thanks to a two-run double from Charlie Tisdale. Post 70 tacked on a third run thanks to a defensive error from Wiregrass’ shortstop.

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Post 70 tacked on two more runs in the sixth when Graham Wilkes drove in a couple of runners from second and third with a base hit, giving Post 70 the 5-3 lead.

Eric Lee finished the game with two hits for Post 70, while also scoring a couple of runs. Wilkes and Tisdale led the team with two RBI’s a piece Friday night.

“Eric had the big day for us tonight,” Givens said. “He got things going for us in both of the innings we scored. He was one of the key players tonight.”

The bigger story for Troy on Friday night was the performance by their starting pitcher. Clark shut the door after allowing the three runs early in the game.

“He really threw the ball well tonight,” Givens said.

“They were knocking on the door all night long, and we were able to come up with some good pitches and get us out of some jams. He carried us today.”

What made Clark’s start even more impressive was the fact that he was able to shut the door in a must win game, keeping Post 70 alive in the tournament.

“He has probably one of our best pitchers all summer long,” Givens said. “I don’t remember a bad outing that he has Had. He is just so consistent. I knew I could count on him to go out there and throw strikes and give us a chance to win.”

Clark wasn’t the only one to come through in clutch moments Friday Night. The team as a whole performed the way Givens knew they could.

“It shows a lot about the kind of kids that I have on this team,” Givens said.

“It was a tough game last night. We felt like we were in it the entire game. We could have gotten down about it, but we came out and played. We battled to get on base, and we got some good timely hits. It tells you a lot about the kids that they were able to bounce back and play like the way they did.”

With the win Post 70 will advance to play the winner of the other Troy Post 70 17U team and Dothan at 2:00 p.m. Saturday.

“We are going to have to carry over our pitching,” Givens said. “We didn’t beat ourselves today, and we won. We need to carry that over, throwing strikes and making their batters put the ball in play.”