STREAK ENDS: Troy Machine Pitch’s 13-game winning streak ends with a loss to host-team South Carolina

Published 3:00 am Friday, August 7, 2015

Jackson Boothe prepares to make an out during the Machine Pitch’s game against South Carolina Thursday. The Troy team lost to South Carolina 15-9, ending a 13-game win streak and the team’s World Series run.  MESSENGER PHOTO/DAN SMITH

Jackson Boothe prepares to make an out during the Machine Pitch’s game against South Carolina Thursday. The Troy team lost to South Carolina 15-9, ending a 13-game win streak and the team’s World Series run.

The Troy Machine Pitch’s 13-game win streak came to an end Thursday morning, sending the team home empty-handed from the Dixie World Series in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Head coach Adam Brookins said the whole team was disappointed in the loss to host-team South Carolina, and that “all good things must come to an end.”

“It really is like they say, all good things must come to an end,” Brookins said following the team’s 15-9 loss. “Dating back to our district tournament, we had won 13 straight games, which in itself is pretty good. We came out ready to play, but we were a little flat and it just didn’t work out how we had hoped it would today. Because of the weather and because of everything having to be pushed back, the tournament went from a double-elimination into a single-elimination, so there wasn’t any room for error.”

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Despite the loss, Brookins said he couldn’t be more proud of the team he had watched grow throughout the summer.

“I’m proud of them, definitely,” Brookins said. “When we first got started, and we went to the district tournament, we had a hard time beating Enterprise, and that was my goal to beat Enterprise. And, we did. Then, when we went to the state tournament, I had in my mind that I would be happy if we finished in the top four in the state, and of course we won. Of course, when we won, we set more goals, and my goal for the World Series was to win it, because why not? We had won 10 games and only lost one winning the state tournament, so why not us?”

The team had previously been unbeaten in the World Series running a perfect 5-0 record, but Brookins said some missed routine plays were the death of the Troy team against South Carolina Thursday.

“We did extremely well for five games and played extremely good baseball for five games, and we just had had a little hiccup today,” Brookins said. “They scored a couple of runs early, and we didn’t score in the first inning. They came up 6-0, and it was 7-6 at one point. This team is a very, very good defensive team, but we didn’t make some routine plays that we should have and we dug ourselves a hole.”

Brookins said the team had dug out of the hole, but still fell short in the last few innings.

“We did a really good job climbing out of the hole,” Brookins said. “You never want to blame the ref, but we had a guy catch a ball in the outfield and throw to second and it looked like he had gotten the ball there, but they called the player safe. That would have ben the third out. It would have ended the game, but they ended up scoring six more runs after that. That’s why most of time you have a double elimination tournament, because it gives you a chance to make a mistake, but with this game, we couldn’t.”

Brookins said the best thing in baseball is winning a World Series and that the second best was losing one, but no loss is easy to take, especially when you make it to the final four in the World Series.

“It was tough walking out of there after doing so well and not having a trophy in hand, but none of these boys have ever even won a district championship,” Brookins said. “We told them after the game that they’re walking out of here champions no matter what. Whether it’s World Series champions or not, they’re District Champions and State Champions. We were third in the World Series. We just have to move forward now. These boys have another chance to play in a World Series, and there were 12 good kids on this team this year.”

With several players eligible to play on the Machine Pitch team again next year, Brookins said he had high hopes for the team in 2016.

“All of those players are very mature for their age,” Brookins said. “They knew what we expected of them. They got out there and they did it. They knew that if we talk to them they weren’t doing what they’re supposed to do. Some people might say that maybe we were really hard on them, I don’t know. But, there are certain times that you have to say, ‘What age do you start doing things with them?’ They have grown. From the team that we had last year, we had seven of the 12 I coached last year return. We were fundamentally sound in every position. I couldn’t’ have asked for a better team to have coached. I was extremely proud of what they did on the field every day.”