AAA Rookies struggle with South Bibb

Published 3:00 am Friday, July 8, 2016

South Bibb scored 12 runs in the first two innings in a 14-11 win over the Troy team in the opening round of the AAA Rookies State Tournament.

Pitching proved to be a problem for Troy early in the game. Seth Berry got the start for Troy, giving up three runs before being relived by Tyler McLendon, who pitched two innings and gave up eight earned runs.

“We haven’t had a problem with our pitching until this game,” said head coach Adam Brookins. “We struggled to throw strikes and we walked too many batters early. They were able to turn those into runs.”

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Troy got on the board in the top of the first, when Cade Edwards singled to score Pruitt Vaughn.

Bibb answered in their bottom of the first, scoring six runs, including two on back-to-back walks with bases loaded and a pair of doubles.

Troy answered with four runs in the second. Berry got the scoring started when he singled to right field to score McLendon. Blake Lowery came around to score the second run of the inning on a throwing error by the right fielder. Hayden Adamson drove in Berry and KaNeil Lewis scored on errand pick off throw to close out the scoring in the second.

Bibb followed with another six-run inning, getting five hits including a double.

The third inning was scoreless, and Troy scored two runs in the fourth when McLendon tripled to score Pruitt Vaughan and McLendon scored on a groundout by Rhodes Baker. Troy came back in the fifth inning with their second four-run inning of the contest. Berry and Lewis both reached on singles to begin the inning, and Berry scored when Adamson reached base on an error. Lewis came around to score on a wild pitch. Back-to-back doubles by Edwards and Cooper Campbell helped Troy pull to within one, at 12-11.

“I was proud of them for battling,” Brookins said. “I just wish they didn’t have to battle. The thing with the last two games has been we got behind early and had to battle. We were able to score a lot of runs we just can’t let other teams do the same.”

South Bibb scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth and held on for the win.

Troy finished the game with 13 hits. Five different players, McLendon, Lewis, Berry, Edwards and Vaughn each had two hits.

Troy heads to the losers bracket and will play the loser of AUM and Russellville at 5 p.m. today.

“We have two really good pitchers that we haven’t used yet so I am feeling confident going into tomorrow’s game,” Brookins said. “They are going to come in and give us some strong innings and we are going to score some runs and hopefully stay up here at least for one more day.”