Troy ready for Enterprise after knocking off Luverne

Published 9:13 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The Troy Ozone team fell behind early and didn’t lead until the seventh inning of Monday’s Sub-District final against Luverne. Late heroics and strong pitching led the way to an 8-5 win.

The Ozone team will head to Troy to take on Enterprise in a best-two-out-of-three series for the District championship on Friday night.

“It was good,” Josh Prestwood said. “Our lineup came through in the end and tied it up 5-5. Parker Adams and Jackson Cleveland have pitched well all three games.”

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Troy went undefeated on their way to a sub-district championship. Their defense, other than making a few errors on Monday, has been a strength. Their offense kept building and building as the tournament went along.

“We made a couple of errors last night, but other than that, we were really sound fielding,” Prestwood said. “Our hitting gradually got better in the tournament.”

Troy has taken pride in their defense throughout the early goings of the tournament season. They go through repetition after repetition in order to get strong in the field.

“It’s a lot of repetition,” Prestwood said. “I watch a couple teams move kids every inning. Our infield is pretty set. I have two kids that play third and two that play second. Where I have them, I am confident as far as our defense.”

Troy finished with eight hits against Luverne Monday night. Parker Adams, who also started for Troy, led the team in hitting with two.

Prestwood thought his offense lacked a little bit on Monday, but said his offense has otherwise been sound.

“Last night we didn’t hit as good as we have,” Prestwood said. “We had some hard-hit balls. They made a couple of catches on us in the outfield, but we did have three legitimate doubles late.”

With the two off days remaining until the start of their series with Enterprise, Troy will focus on getting their offense to be more consistent.

“I am going to focus more on hitting,” Prestwood said. “We had a pretty good tournament, but early in that game last night (Monday) we struggled a little bit. I think we were a little anxious and way up in front. My top four struck out one time going back to the practice games until last night.”

Prestwood has been coaching at the recreation level for seven years now and believes this year’s squad may be the most talented team he has coached.

“I have never had a better team as far as attitude and not giving up,” Prestwood said. “We were down 5-2 and most kids will get down on themselves and give up. They are going to compete to the end.”

Troy will be taking on a familiar opponent in Enterprise beginning on Friday night. It has been a rivalry that has brought thrills throughout the years.

“A lot of the kids that I am coaching play travel ball against Enterprise,” Prestwood said. “They have been playing against each other for six years. It’s a little tense because it’s almost written down that those will be the two teams that will play for a championship. It makes it a little more exciting when you know that is who you are going to play.”

Game one will begin at 6 p.m. at the Troy Sportsplex.

Ozone Players include: Slade Renfroe, Parker Adams, Jackson Booth, Wes Braisted, Kade Brookins, Jackson Cleveland, Houston Gunter, Tyler McLendon, Braden Prestwood, Cole Pugh, Myles Tyler and Pruitt Vaughn.