Troy Junior Dixie Boys drop first game

Published 3:00 am Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Troy Dixie Boys 13U team led early, but couldn’t hold on in their 7-5 loss to Opelika in the Alabama Junior Dixie Boys State Tournament Monday evening in Dothan.

The loss is Troy’s first of the tournament and they will now have to fight their way out of the loser’s bracket the rest of the way.

“We missed some opportunities to score some runs a couple times during the game,” said manager Chris Huner. “Give Opelika credit; they played a clean game and didn’t make any errors. We had a lot of firsts this week; we had our first live action this week, our first win and, today, our first loss. I expect our guys to bounce back.”

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Daryl Lee got the start for Troy Monday and pitched the game’s first 6.2 innings. Lee allowed seven total runs, five of which were earned on nine hits and one strikeout.

“He pitched a great game,” Huner said. “He threw six and two-thirds innings and scattered nine hits. He pitched well enough to win.”

Noah Prestwood picked up the remaining out of the ball game for Troy.

Troy finished the game with nine hits led by Lee and Skylar Kidd, who both went 2-4 with two RBIs. Prestwood, Brady Huner, Jayden Jordan, Adrian Cardwell and Dalton Stephens all had one hit,

“Tonight we scored three runs in the first inning and everything looked good,” Huner said. “Then the bats went cold the next three innings. We have to be able to score in more of the innings.”

Opelika jumped on the board in the top of the first inning when Jackson Harris scored on a Brooks Bryan single.

It didn’t take long for Troy to respond though; they scored three runs in their first at-bat to take the lead. Lee smacked a two-run double to score Prestwood and Jordan and Kidd followed up with a single to score Lee.

That was the last time Troy saw the lead Monday night. Opelika responded with four runs in the third inning to take a 5-3 lead.

Opelika started the inning with six consecutive hits, including three straight doubles by Jackson Harris, Brooks Bryan and Paul Goodman.

Opelika added another run in the fifth to extend their lead to 6-3 on a Paul Goodman single.

Troy attempted to get back in the game in the bottom of the fifth when Kidd doubled in Lee and Stephens drove in Kidd on a single to get Troy to within one at 6-5.

Opelika picked up a big insurance run in the top of the seventh inning when Bryan scored on an error by Huner.

Troy will be back in action at 9 a.m. today against East Montgomery.

“The team we play has had to come from behind their last two games to stay alive,” Huner said. “They are beatable and I think our guys will be ok. I don’t know if we need to reinvent the wheel or make drastic changes.”