Troy team is 2-0 in World Series
Published 8:54 pm Saturday, July 30, 2016
By Dan Smith
LAUREL, MISS. – The Troy Dixie Baseball 8-U Machine Pitch team had a flair for the dramatic in winning the state tournament two weeks ago, coming from behind on more than one occasion, and their opening round 19-18 World Series win over South Carolina Saturday was no different as the Alabama champions rallied for four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to come from behind and win the World Series opener in Laurel, .
Troy also defeated the host team Laurel in the nightcap by an identical score of 19-18, and will play again Sunday at 4 p.m.
South Carolina broke a 15-15 tie in the top of the eighth with three runs for an 18-15 lead, but in the bottom of the eighth Troy hitter Luke Sikes was part of a five-hit rally, with his single driving in Slade Russell for the 19-18 win.
Troy Head Coach Bobby Hussey was very proud of the way his team came from behind to win the World Series opener against a very solid South Carolina team.
“It was a very hard fought win, a game we knew we had a chance to win,” said Hussey. “The kids have been playing great all summer. We went ahead by seven runs at one point today, and at that point I thought if we could hold them and come back on the field, we could possibly end it. But I guess our bats went cold, and South Carolina fought back and got within three runs.
“We asked our defense to step up, and they did everything we asked of them. In the eighth inning we gave up three runs, but our defense fought to not give up more. When we came back off the field for our final at-bat, we asked our kids if they were in it to win it. We have been practicing all summer for this. The bats came alive, and one run at a time, we were able to mount a comeback.”
South Carolina jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the second inning, but Troy rallied to cut the lead to 6-2 in the bottom half.
Troy added seven more in the third inning and six more in the fourth for a 15-8 advantage.
Troy did not score in the fifth inning, while South Carolina chipped away to tie the score at 15-15 in the top of the sixth, and with Troy unable to score in the bottom of the sixth, the game went into extra innings.
South Carolina scored three in the top of the eighth, but Troy won the game when Payton Elliott led off with a single, followed by base hits by Luke Barron, Dawson Bradford, Slade Russell, and with one-out Luke Sikes drilled a base hit to score Russell for the winning run and the 19-18 final.
Troy was led at the plate by Barron, Bradford, and Russell with four hits each, while Sikes and Chase Vaznian had three hits apiece.
Troy lost one game in the state tournament in Troy before winning the if-necessary game against Fairhope. Hussey said that experience has prepared them for the World Series, but he is proud of them regardless of the outcome in Laurel.
“These kids, win lose or draw, are an outstanding group of kids,” said Hussey. “If they have to, they can come back against any team out there. Just for example, Fairhope had outstanding team in state, and South Carolina is one of the top teams coming into the World Series. Our guys give 110 percent and everything to complete, and that says it all.”