District champs: Troy Americans knock off Nationals to claim title

Published 10:43 pm Monday, June 18, 2018

In a battle of two teams from Troy, the Americans outlasted the Nationals 12-5 in extra innings on Monday night to claim the District 9 AAA Rookie Championship.

Gardiner Dunn got the start for the Nationals, while Braden Shirley got the start for the Americans. The Americans also had Jaxon Wade, Jeremiah Davis and Bowen Jones pitch. The Nationals, following Dunn, sent Dylan Davis and Benjamin Cochran to the mound.

The Troy Americans sent eight batters to the plate in the top half of the first inning. They tallied two extra bases by Jones and Wade in the inning. The Americans scored their first run when Clay Johnson touched home on a wild pitch. They doubled their lead to 2-0 on Jones’ double to right field that stayed just fair.

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The Nationals were able to get to Americans starter Shirley for four runs in the bottom half of the first. Benjamin Cochran scored the first run of the inning on a wild pitch. Dunn tied the game with a standup triple to right center. Benjamin Patterson gave the Nationals the lead with a single and extended it to two when he scored on a wild pitch to bring the score to 4-2.

Dunn got the first two outs quickly in the top half of the second. He then loaded the bases with two walks and error. He picked up a strikeout to get the Nationals out of the jam.

The Americans, after a scoreless second by both teams, scored two runs in the third to even the score at 4. Jones doubled to left to drive in Wade and Kameron Johnson singled to left to even up the score.

The Nationals had two runners in scoring position with nobody out in the bottom of the fourth inning, but Wade picked up three straight strikeouts to put out the fire keeping the score knotted at four heading to the fifth inning.

The Americans took the lead in the top half of the sixth. Braden Shirley picked up a one-out single and after two wild pitches landed on third. Cooper Johnson ripped a single to right to give the Americans the lead.

It was short lived. The Nationals evened the score in the bottom half of the sixth on a Micah Fuller single to push the game to extra innings.

The Americans broke through in the top half of the eighth inning. The Americans had six runs score on wild pitches. The Americans scored 7 runs in the inning to help win the championship.

Both teams clinched a spot in the upcoming State Tournament in Oxford.