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Rookies to face Enterprise in championship

Three weeks after falling to Enterprise in a best two-out-of three series in the District Tournament, the Troy Ozone Rookie team will have a another shot at Enterprise in once again a best two-out-of three series, but this time the State Championship is on the line.

Troy has begun the State Tournament in Oxford with a perfect 5-0 record after defeating Decatur 22-5, East Tuscaloosa 14-1, Oxford 24-2, Decatur 13-10 and Oxford 20-7.

It’s no surprise that for a team who is averaging nearly 19 runs a game during the tournament, that the hitting has led the way for the Rookies thus far.

“Our hitting has been really good, which I thought it would be,” Troy head coach Chris Huner said. “We have a lot off good ball players on our team and I think they are finally playing up to their potential offensively.

After defeating Decatur in their opening round game on Thursday night, Troy matched up with East Tuscaloosa, and on the backs of good pitching and timely hitting, they were able to walk away with an easy 14-1 victory. Adrian Cardwell and Noah Prestwood both combined to pitch a one hit shutout. Cardwell started the game and pitched three innings allowing just one run, while Prestwood closed the door in the final inning.

Skylar Kidd and Brady Barron led the way in hits, picking up two a piece for Troy. Kidd also picked up a grand slam. Prestwood, Brady Huner, Quay Rodgers, Cardwell, KenCorious Boykin, JD Wilson, and Matt Dubose all picked up hits as well for Troy.

In Troy’s 24-2 win over Oxford, Troy scored 17 runs in the top of the first inning putting the game out of reach very early in the contest. Troy tacked on the remaining seven runs in the second inning before Oxford conceded the contest. Barron, and Boykin led the way in hitting in game three with three hits apiece. Prestwood, Huner, Rodgers, and Dubose each had two hits. Kidd, Jeff Warrick, and Kase Chirico had one hit each.

Troy picked up of where they left off in their next game against Decatur and scored nine runs in the first inning en route to a 13-10 win. Warrick led the way in hits with two.

In the championship game of bracket one, Troy once again matchup with Oxford. The out come was not much different as Troy won the bracket after a 20-7 win. Warrick once again led Troy in hitting, he wracked up three hits in the win. Huner, Rodgers, Boykin, and Dubose each had two hits.

With the hitting at the forefront of Troy’s success over the weekend, the success of the pitching staff has not gone unnoticed by coach Huner and the coaching staff.

“We haven’t had a lot of walks, and we are throwing strikes,” Huner said. “We aren’t going to strike out many batters and I knew that going in. We are throwing strikes and we are giving our defense a chance to make outs.”

Throwing strikes was something that Troy struggled with when the two teams met in game one near the end of June. In that series troy fell in a lopsided game one 21-10, and then fell in game two 6-5.

“We need to compete in every inning and not get down on ourselves,” Huner said. “We are putting the ball in play a lot better, and we need to just play one inning at a time.

Game one and two will take place today in Oxford at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. If game three is necessary it will be played on Wednesday at 10:00 a.m.