Game day: After a dominating performance at districts, Troy Ozone ready to compete at state

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Troy Ozone begins their run at a state title this evening.

After dominating the sub-district and district tournaments in June, the team took the last two weeks to prepare for state.

“We are ready, at least we are ready to play the games,” said Manager Bobby Templin. “Hopefully we will play well. We have had a good week of practice since the Fourth of July. We feel good about where we are … we are ready to play the games.”

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Troy, like many of the other teams, has juggled practice around the weather over the last month.

“We were able to get on the field everyday,” Templin said. “Hopefully we have thrown our pitchers in the way to where they are still fresh while at the same time not get rusty. We played a scrimmage game against Andalusia and our pitchers threw the ball really well.”

Troy outscored their opponents 66-6 in the sub-district and district tournaments, while allowing no hits in sub-district. They trailed just once in the two tournaments. With the competition level increasing, Templin knows his team will have a tough task and will have to learn how handle adversity.

“I think they will respond well and be ready to play,” Templin said. “Enterprise in the second game scored two in the first inning and we did have to overcome that. I think based on that particular game, we have shown that we can hopefully respond if we do get down.”

Getting off to a good start will be key for Troy.

“For the sake of confidence, it’s important,” Templin said. “Anytime you get in these tournaments it’s important to stay in the winners bracket because once you get into the loser’s bracket it’s a tough grind to get through. It’s important to get off to a good start.”

Troy will get an early test in round one when they play Fairhope, the team that defeated them in the state tournament last summer.

“We are expecting a very good team with good pitcher, a team that I am sure is a lot like us: coming in and expecting to win. We are expecting a tough challenge right off the bat,” Templin said.

Landon Tyler will get the start for Troy against Fairhope in round one. In Tyler’s last start against Enterprise he pitched a complete game shutout.

“Landon is throwing as well as I have seen him throw over the two or three years that I have known him,” Templin said. “He is definitely throwing better now than he did during the regular season. If he can maintain the level of performance he has been at then we feel really good and confident.”

Offensively Troy can remain competitive against anyone they play.

“We feel confident in the lineup one through 12 that we can be competitive and have good at bats.”

First pitch between Troy and Fairhope 8 p.m. today in Andalusia.