Rookies finish fifth at State

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Dixie Minor Rookies finished fifth overall in the State Tournament after an 8-6 loss to East Montgomery on Sunday.

After a first-round win in the tournament, the Rookies fell 6-3 to Montgomery-AUM and were forced to battle back from the losers’ bracket. They defeated Alexandria 13-4 and Enterprise 11-5 on Saturday, giving them momentum as they entered Sunday’s game.

Of all the things that Rookies did well, it was the improvement of the defense that stood out most of all to head coach Chris Goshea and the pitching staff.

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“We hit the ball, and we played solid defense,” Goshea said. “ The game we played against Alexandria was probably the best game we have played. Defensively it was as close to perfection that I have seen the entire tournament. I was hoping that momentum would carry over to the next day.

Unfortunately for the Rookies, costly mistakes took their toll.

Base running mistakes along with some miscues in the field made it tough for the Rookies to battle back and win the game.

“We had the game at hand,” Goshea said. “We had some base running miscues at the end and it came back to bite us. We hit the ball well, but we ran into some unnecessary double plays.”

The loss on Sunday brought an end to the summer schedule for the coach Goshea and the Rookies, but the success they obtained through the last couple of months could really be attributed the growth of each player on the team.

“From the end of May until now, those guys grew,” Goshea said. “These guys grew enormously, you can see that watching them and see them process things as they happen. They started thinking through the game rather than just playing.”

Goshea also said he was happy at the effort his players put forth.

“I was proud for what I saw in them and I was proud with the way they fought,” coach Goshea said. “They really represented Troy well as well as District 9. Overall I hate we are not playing in the championship game, but I am grateful for the opportunity to be apart of those young mens’ lives.”

All though many of the players were disappointed on the ride home many were already thinking towards next year, he said.

“There whole focus on the ride back was how they were going to get better so they can come back and when the whole thing next year.”