NEW WATERS: Nationals head to state tournament

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Troy Nationals lost two games in the district tournament at the Sportsplex in Troy. Both of the losses came to their Troy counterparts, the Americans, with their second loss coming in the championship.

With the second-place finish in the books, head coach Rick Cochran and Troy will be able to hit the road to the state tournament.

The state tournament is uncharted waters for the head coach. He has never made it to this level and is excited to see what it offers.

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“Honestly, I don’t have an idea of what to expect,” Cochran said. “This is my first time coaching a tournament team. I’m sure that there are some good teams coming from some talented districts.

It will be a new experience for his players as well. They will be able to experience the travel side of baseball.

“That will definitely be a new element for us,” Cochran said. “We are going to go up on the fourth. We are going to try and go out to eat and watch the City of Oxford fireworks display. The hotel will be a different experience, but I know they are all excited about going on a trip. Once they get there and get that taste that we are here for one reason and that’s to lace it up and play ball, I think they will rise to the occasion.”

Troy will surely see strong competition in the tournament. Cochran and the Nationals feel like the close games the team played at district will help them this time around.

“I think it will help us,” Cochran said. “We were in some exciting games against Eufaula and the other Troy team. We were able to stay calm in some exciting moments. Hopefully that will be good for us at state.”

During the off time, Cochran and the team have been working hard on not feeling defeated after making a mistake.

“We’re just not mentally defeating ourselves,” Cochran said. “Whether we run into a really strong pitcher or if they make a mistake, I think those are signs of a mentally strong ball player. I am hoping we can put things behind us and get on to the next play.”