Ozone Rookies ready for state

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 6, 2016

It’s been nearly two weeks since the district tournament, and the Troy Ozone Rookies are eager to get back on the field.

“We are ready to get things going,” said Troy head coach Chris Huner. “ We had a good couple weeks of practice. … I think the boys are ready.”

The tournament begins this week in Oxford, and the Troy Ozone Rookies are expecting stiff competition at the state level.

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“Pitching is always going to be better,” Huner said. “The teams that are still in it are the ones that play really good defense and throw strikes.”

Throwing strikes will come courtesy a five-man pitching roster.

“I think we have gotten better with that,” Huner said. “We started with not having a lot of experience. We only had two that had really amassed a lot of innings in J.D. Wilson and Brady Huner.”

Along with Huner and Wilkes, Mario Davenport, Jeff Warrick and Brady Barron also logged innings at district. “We have five players that we can rely on. When you get to the state tournament and you play multiple games you have to be able to spread it around,” Huner said.

Troy averaged 9.7 runs per game in their three games at district.

“I think they were nervous in the first game,” Huner said. “The boys have gotten more relaxed. The more appearances that they see at the plate they are obviously going to get better.”

The state tournament will consist of two, seven-team double-elimination brackets. The winner of each bracket will square off in a best two-out-of-three championship series.

Troy begins the tournament at 5 p.m. Thursday against East Tuscaloosa.